If you were a painter, you would not want a mop to paint with; likewise, a chef does not want dull knives. The type of knives you buy is important.
There is easy-to-sharpen and hard-to-sharpen. The hard to sharpen probably hold their edge longer but the easy to sharpen need less work to get an edge. Thin knives with non-wood handles are easy to maintain, last longer, and take a keen edge. High carbon steel is actually the best performer providing more toughness and the ability sharpen easily with minimal effort. High carbon steel is not stain resistant. It can rust and will discolor from use. Old high carbon steel kitchen knife blades will actually become dark which is purely cosmetic and does not detract from their performance and are relatively inexpensive.
High carbon stainless steel is a good stain-resistant steel. It has a high content of carbon for hardness and still enough chromium to keep it looking great. High carbon stainless will take a sharp edge but requires a greater effort to sharpen than high carbon steel. It is the most popular steel type used in high quality kitchen cutlery. The Japanese knives use an alloy and heat treatment that produces a harder thinner blade requiring more maintenance and the European knives produce a softer thicker blade requiring less maintenance.
Stainless steel or surgical stainless steel has less carbon and more chromium in the alloy. It is very resistant to rust and stains but not hard enough to maintain the best possible edge. This type of steel is used most often in department store knives. Typically, the angle on these knives is about 50 degrees meaning a thick edge, which is another compromise versus durability. Knives with high vanadium content can take a very keen edge, but are very hard to sharpen.
Here is a picture of some of my Kiwi brand Thai knives that are over 20 years old. They go through the dishwasher and yet are in good shape.