I'll chime in. I do most of our cooking and am into tools of all sorts.
Agreed, buy a la carte, beginning with an 8" cook's / chef's knife, a paring knife, a 6-8" utility knife and extend with a bread, filet, parers, smaller and larger versions of the cook's and a cleaver. That way you'll get the perfect knife for each job you do.
See how the handle of the knife feels in your hand and how it balances as you use it. If you and your partner both cook, what fits one's might not the other's, so dupes of the most commonly used ones might be in order.
You can spend lots on really good knives, or not so much for perfectly adequate ones, perhaps at a restaurant supply. I own several Forschner knives, one of the brands mentioned above. They're not of the quality of steel found in a Mac, Wusthof or high-end Henckels, but they are pretty good and will get the prep work done and dinner on the table just fine. They're light, thin, take a good edge and stay sharp for a reasonable time.
I personally sharpen my knives with stones every few months and maintain the edge with a steel (a steel, not a diamond-grit or ceramic rod hone) almost every time I use them. I prefer being careful with a sharp knife to wrestling with a dull one.
I prefer cutting on wood boards. Whatever you do, throw out the glass cutting board...
Instead of a block taking space on the counter, you might consider racks in a drawer, racks under the upper cabinets or magnet strips on the upper cabinets, say beside the sink where you can see the blade you're picking up, rather than just the handle.
Time to go cook something!