Knife Sharpeners : Update after one year of use....
Welll - based off several of ya'lls recommendations, I ultimately went with a Lansky system with the knife clamp. It was a little more expensive (around $40), but it keeps a consistent angle for a rookie like myself. The only downside is sharpening blades over ~6 inches. You have to reposition the knife in the clamp to sharpen the entire length of the blade.
As a compromise for longer blades, I bought one of the Ozitech DiamondFinger sharpeners. The case is pretty cheap (plastic), but it puts a nice edge on my wife's kitchen knives, and is quicker to use than the Lansky.
To summarize - the Lansky will put a razor edge on a knife. It works best for knives with shorter blades, and I use it exclusively for pocket knives, etc.
The Ozitech sharpener has become the one we use for the kitchen knives. It folds up nicely, and is conveniently stored in one of the kitchen drawers. When a blade seems to be getting dull, a few swipes and it's ready to go again.
Thanks again for all the info you guys provided.