Premium Damascus knives can be a great choice for kitchen use, as they are known for their sharpness and durability.
Sharpness is simply the angle to which the edge is ground. Retaining that edge depends on the hardness of the steel, the cutting application and the angle selected. The durability this author is talking about is having a mix of hardness in the make up of the blade. The idea is to have a hard edge for edge retention and a softer spine to add "toughness" or a lower average amount of brittleness to the blade.
This is usually accomplished with differential heat treatment, or forming a composite blade (two different steels one on the edge and one on the spine.) In Japan it is usually accomplished by forging a hard steel to a softer steel wrapper. They call it honsanmai or three layers (two soft layers surrounding a hard layer.)
To say that pattern welded (damascus) steel is tougher than solid steel depends entirely on the different metals involved and quality of the forging. In general a damascus blade is inferior to one made of a high quality solid steel but there are some pattern welded products that perform the same as solid steel. I think I mentioned Damasteel in an earlier post. The hard japanese carbon steels (shirogami and aogami) can be pattern welded to create a very solid blade of high performance and some cutlery craftsmen in Japan do pattern weld these steels. Damascus steel that incorporates softer metals such as nickel or copper are not so good. So there are exceptions to my rule.
Generally speaking choosing a pattern welded blade is a choice of putting appearance over performance. The only sure way of knowing that you will get a high quality blade is knowing the reputation of the knife maker because the forging process itself is not consistent from one maker to another even though the materials can be identical.
My advice. Go with a honsanmai blade that uses pattern welded steel for the wrapper with a hard stainless or carbon steel core. That way you get both performance and appearance. I have 3 or 4 gyutos (chef's knives) made this way and all are excellent performers.
The author talks about preferences and that is an important thing as well. For instance the right way to grip a chef knife is to hold the blade, just ahead of the handle with the thumb and forefinger and let the other three fingers wrap around the handle. Holding the knife like you would hold a hammer is not as effective as it reduces control. Ideally the knife will be balanced at the point you place your thumb and forefinger. Most Japanese gyutos are so balanced depending on blade length. The Euro and American knives are mostly handle heavy thanks to the penchant for using forged or welded bolsters between edge and handle. A little while with a good Japanese gyuto will cure your interest in those knives.
The other main preferences are handle material and blade length. Personally I'm not concerned about handle shape since I grip the knives as I mentioned above. If it looks good and makes you happy it is a good choice. Longer blades are more efficient while shorter blades are more nimble. My personal favorite blade length for a gyuto is 240 mm which is about 9 1/2". That is an average blade length. Your preference may be different from mine and that is fine. Since japanese knives are lighter than Euro knives you can get a more efficient longer blade with the same comfort you experience with a shorter Euro knife.
Do you want to get into sharpening?