When I started to become interested in cooking a few years ago, I found that I had outgrown the cheap set of dull knives that I owned, and decided that it was time for an upgrade. I read some information online, then shopped around a little bit and found a very nice set of knives at a local department store, so I decided to give them a try.
The knives that I selected were a six piece set of International Forged Pro knives by J.A. Henckels. This set included a large chef's knife, a large serrated bread knife, a paring knife, a utility knife (essentially a larger version of the paring knife), a small serrated knife, and a sharpening steel. All of the knives have extremely sharp, full-length, forged steel blades, and nice synthetic grey handles. They're all nicely balanced and very comfortable to hold in my hand.
As far as care is concerned, I just use the sharpening steel on ours after each use to keep the edges sharp. We've used these knives almost daily to cut meat, vegetables, bread, cheese, and just about anything else in the kitchen that needed cutting, and all of the blades have retained their edges very well. According to the documentation that came along with the knives, these are supposed to be dishwasher safe, but since everything I've read strongly recommends against it, I make sure to wash ours by hand. In addition, the set that I purchased did not include anything to store the knives in, so I bought a wooden storage block at a different store so that the knives wouldn't be banging around in one of our kitchen drawers. (I believe the current set of these knives includes the wooden block with it).
All in all, I'm very pleased with these knives. It's amazing to feel the difference that a good knife can make when you've been using a cheap set of knives for years. I wouldn't hesitate to recommed these to anyone that is interested in a good, reasonably priced set of kitchen knives.