"Normal" Price since May 2017 is $280 with brief sales down to $240,$230. Coupon brings it down to $139, more than $60 less than the lowest ever recording in 2016 during a single day sale in Feb. 2016.
Prep blades are forged German steel, full tang. Steak knives are "asian" (Chinese probably) stamped steel. Block has self sharpening pieces built in, with one empty slot for a knife you already own (in my case, a Boner).
I've never used a sharpening block, but I expect to have to wipe the blades down before using each time to make sure I don't get any metal in my food.
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