Shun blades are incredible, I have 4 of them. Two classics (8" chefs, 7" santoku) and two elites (8" chefs, 3" paring).
I started off with the classics, and they are AMAZING. I absolutely love them, and they were my babies. However, upon receiving the elites (from woot), my classics seem dull (but they are also up for a new sharpening).
Let's just say that if you treat these knives right, they'll treat you well.
Japanese blades, in general, will be sharper than their German cousins. This is due to the harder steel used in production, which allows for a steeper blade angle. The issue is that the harder a metal is, the more brittle/chippable it tends to be. On top of that, they can be a little more difficult to sharpen. If you know how to take care of a knife (never cut on ceramic, glass, stone, metal...only on wood and plastic), these might be the knives for you. Always wash right after using (hand wash!), and dry immediately.
No joke, these are excellent knives, and I would recommend you getting one of the paring knives before they run out (the one offered is cheaper than a classic paring, which is lower end).
Edit: I meant to write this before but forgot to. For those of you who are afraid of sharp knives, think of it this way: I consider the most dangerous tool in the kitchen a dull knife. A sharp knife does the cutting for you. The blade effortlessly cuts through your food, and as a result it minimizes the amount of force required for cutting. If you have a dull knife, there is a greater chance of you cutting too hard and the blade slipping off (happened to a friend with butternut squash!) and tearing your hand.
I also use the term "tearing" here, because a dull knife will cause greater cellular trauma to your skin than a sharp knife. The knife will essentially butcher (in a straight line) your hand, or whatever else you cut, and since it's not a wicked clean slice, it will take longer to heal. I have cut myself ONCE, and my knife was so sharp that it healed within 2 or 3 days. It wasn't even noticeable. Trust me here, a good knife is a good friend in the kitchen.