If you enjoy cooking, you need good knives. You need to take care of your good knives. We have a set of Chicago Cutlery knives (not exactly the ones pictured above) that Zack invested in before we started dating 4 years ago. They still do their job well and we will probably have them around for years to come. We're kind of attached to them.
You don't have to go out and buy the most expensive set of knives out there. There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for kitchen knives.
1. Is the steel of the knife forged in one piece all the way through the handle? It should be. Don't waste your time on a knife that isn't.
2. Is the knife weighted properly and fit well in your hand? The knife should feel comfortable for you to hold, and shouldn't be overly heavy at the base.
3. If purchasing a block of knives, is there a sharpener or honing case? You want to sharpen your knives regularly. If the knife sharpener isn't included (which it should be if you're purchasing the block) pick one up.