After helping a friend do a Japanese weapons demonstration recently, I have once again been bitten by the sword bug. I already own a katana, but the handle is a bit short and the balance is a bit off for my liking. I had intended on making a new weighted handle for it myself, but upon disassembling it, I found it was a piece of crap (too bad, because I like the cutting edge - wicked sharp!). Anyway, a new handle is out of the question, so I want a new sword! Any ideas anyone? I already am aware of martial arts suppliers like Century, and my local knife store has a couple on their back wall, but I want to know if my fellow forumites know of any hidden gems that I don't. I don't want to break the bank, but I want a decent blade with a live edge that I can actually practice with. It doesn't have to be especially decorative - function over form, as I always say.
Thanks in advance for your help.
"'Good!' said Legolas. 'But my count is now two dozen. It has been knife-work up here.'" -J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers