Knives are personal. The way they feel, the way they balance in the hand. How the blade cuts through the food. Personally, I like a lighter knife, one that is easy to grip and that is very, very sharp. Cat Cora of Iron Chef fame uses a 13" chef’s knife, and she’s 4’11”. Intimidating? Yes. Necessary? When you are that short and working in a “man’s” world, wielding a large knife can help intimidate your co-workers.
As you know, I've been cooking for a while, quite a long while. My standard everyday knives have been Forschners (now under Vitorinox). They are getting up there in age. Since I moved into the land of fine dining, that means fine knife work, and that means new knives. I have secretly coveted Japanese knives, and though not trained in their usage, nor mentored by a chef who gave me permission to purchase them, I stepped out and bought new knives last week.