I did take a mess of knives down to Davis Cookware in Hillsboro Village to let their resident "knife whisperer" have a crack at my Wüsthofs. I wasn't that impressed by the edges or how long they they stayed sharp under normal use, plus whatever stone they used scratched the heck out of my blades — but sharp is much better than good-looking. (At least that's what I keep trying to convince my girlfriend.)
Finally last year, the same girlfriend gave me some really nice Shun knives and this slick little whetstone/honer combination. So far so good as the combination of good knives and a fairly foolproof sharpening system has allowed me to get them sharp and keep them sharp for quite a while. But now I may have found an even better solution at the Nashville Farmers' Market.
Cathey Grossman runs a little business she calls "Edges." Every first and second Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Cathey sets up her very professional rotary grinder and whetstone system and will sharpen your cutlery while you shop at the market. I saw the evidence of some of her work, and I must say she does a remarkable job and really understands the art and science of creating and honing an edge. Bandying about terms like "double grinding" and "included angles," Cathey impressed me as she tried to teach me.
For the most part, she charges by the size and type of the blade, and her prices seemed really reasonable. Small knives up to 4 inches are $3, and you can add a dollar for every 2 inches above that up until an 8-inch-plus knife, which costs $6. She'll even sharpen cleavers for $7 and serrated edges for a buck more than regular blades. Considering the cost of a good knife and how much safer it is to use a sharp blade over a dull one, I'd say that Edges is a real bargain.
If you have questions for Cathey, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.