Paul, I'm not sure if the current coating differs significantly from the previous black-bladed ones. I was primarily contrasting the new, black-only version with the satin-finished VG-10 blades of the original. Sorry I can't provide any more information on that.
The Perrin knives on http://WWW.COUTEAUX-BERTHIER.COM
are Fred's mid-tech blades, which he has produced in France. They are very nicely done (I have several in my personal collection and have been selling some for Fred at my seminars) and a great value for the price. All the sheaths for those are also handmade by Fred and Elsa.
The radiusing of the finger choil is a subtle but important change. To be clear, the radiused edge does not track the entire arc of the finger choil, but is focused primarily on the forward portion of the choil where it meets the ricasso near the heel of the edge. When the knife is withdrawn from the sheath, this area acts as a wedge to spread the two halves of the sheath. If it is too sharp, the knife hangs up and the blade shaves plastic. A slight polish and radius to th edge makes a big difference. This improvement has also been incorporated into the current production of the Street Beat.
Mike, thanks for the kind words on the sheath design. Coming from you that's high praise indeed!!!
Thank you all for your enthusiasm for this design. I am very excited to have it back in the line!