I'm a knifeHog too and have tried it all (inc the Chef's Choice 2 stage version and the one Bill linked to).
"By hand" is an art form few can pull off so that leaves devices. The type Bill linked to can produce quite a sharp edge and are common and inexpensive. The cons are the shortest life span, it will change your edge angle, and it is the most aggressive, so much so one can nick out the edge if it skips while applying pressure. These are never used in professional kitchens for these reasons but under home frequency of use this can be a viable choice. On the other end of the scale without going overboard is this type http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=ga10005
. I can get a very scary sharp edge with these and be as aggressive or gentle as needed, but the cons are there is more involved in their use and the higher cost. Kitchen knives have the advantage of being edge maintainable and commonly this is all that is required. This is what a steel is traditionally used for. Most any device with fine abrasive fixed crossed rods can be substituted. 20-30 seconds before each use can keep an edge servicable for a surprisingly long time, years even with the right quality blade.
Now all this applies more or less as the "quality" of the blade changes i.e. steel, heat treat, and the angles the manufacturer chose and whether you changed them during sharpening. It just depends how involved you want get in the process and these are about the best types at their price points IMHO. Again just my opinion but I would hesitate to use the carbide type if I were a younger man and wanted that lifetime of use out of an expensive or high quality knife.