Haven't read the entire thread yet,
But I am a full-time cutlery maker myself.
It's my "second job" besides my other self-employment (since the "economy" is so messed up).
I have a push-dagger I am basically mass-producing (it'd probably be illegal a lot of places , for the double edge)...It's made of 1095 grade steel.
I also have a short-sword design, that will be next, a cool knife based off it's tip, and a long-sword with different dimensions (for weight).
5160 grade is my favorite for those (it's a modern spring steel).
Sometime I'll post pics or a link ,OR once I have my own site to advertise on.