I'm happy you posted this, Seth! It's been something on my mind quite a bit lately. I've worked in kitchens for the last five years but heavily invested in home cooking for closer to ten. Since the beginning of the pandemic I've been splitting my time between my house with my roommate and my gf's place, cooking a lot more than usual for me at both. The best knife at my house is a 10" cutco chef that couldn't pop a balloon and the nicest at my gf's is a 9" winco/dexter that would be sharp if taken care of, but still not great. Because of the circumstances, I desperately wanted a good knife to use between both houses.
I absolutely agree with Bas, the maintenance of a Japanese or Japanese style high carbon steel knife in a professional setting would be too much. At work currently, I'm lucky enough to be the only one that likes the old henkels so I get it to myself while everyone else uses the standard winco/restaurant depot knives. I guess they think it's too heavy.
For 99% of home cooks i'd go with german steel every time. There's just so much less maintenance and they're very forgiving. If someone asks, I recommend the victorinox chef's knife because the vast majority of home cooks have never used a knife even of that quality, and I think it's genuinely a good, easy, workhorse type knife. People that can or want to spend more, I'd recommend wusthof over henkels just because I think I like their build quality/ergonomics a little more.
Since I started looking for a personal knife, I was eyeing vegetable cleavers like you mentioned. It seemed like a great idea for my usual style of cooking, but price tags for decent knives seemed steep. I would have probably chosen the shun, but was too unsure about whether I'd like the style of knife at all to spend the cash. I found what I think is a fantastic middle ground, and so far I absolutely love it. I got the Zhen 6.5" light cleaver and am very happy with it. It's 3 layer japanese steel,made in Taiwan,and the weight and balance are perfect. It's like using a laser. If anyone was considering a chinese style cleaver, I'd absolutely recommend it. Cheap enough to not be too much risk but quality enough to be impressive.