I didn't get into the cooking game until four years ago, and I started out with a knife block set that seemed to be fine. But I did notice that cheese and tomatoes were difficult to slice unless the knife blade was extremely sharp, and that damn near meant sharpening my chef's knife after every use.
Then I got a Santoku knife.
What a difference! The little hollow edges are the key, in that food doesn't stick. What a breeze to slice through cheese and tomatoes now! Because the tip of the Santoku knife curves down it takes a little getting used to, as a chef's knife is curved up at the tip, but once I mastered that little difference everything went swimmingly. I can't recommend this knife enough----and the price was outstanding. I also highly recommend the Asian knife sharpener by Chef's Choice.