There isn't one brand of knives for everything. I have a sashimi knife that I love to use for filets and for trimming beef and the knife I have for that probably won't need to be sharpened for a very long time. My boning knife is a six inch Forschner and it works really well. I also use a Forschner offset knife for bread and it does a really good job but if I want to make really perfect cuts with bread I use my sashimi knife. I use a six inch Shun usuba for prep instead of a cleaver. The brands are not as important as what knives you like. I started school with a Wusthof set and then traded and bought knives from my classmates until I had my own thing going on. They all did the same thing.
Sharpening a good knife means using a whetstone with oil and if you don't know how to do this don't learn how on an expensive knife! If you think that means I messed up a good knife you're right!
Pots and pans don't have to be some expensive brand. Just go to a restaurant supply place and go look at their stuff. What you want are thick bottoms for good heat distribution and none of the non-stick stuff on them. Cast itron pans are awesome but you can't use them on a lot of cook tops so be sure to read the manual for your cook top before you use on. If you have a gas cook top you can use any pot or pan you want.