Wow, +1 and thanks to Sister Wolf for turning me on to Trace Rinaldi knives.
I'm not too familiar with custom blades other than I know that almost all are out of my price range. As I read through the responses, I checked out the different blades and their makers. Which led me to find the Trace Rinaldi Armageddon!
WOW what a great looking blade. The second blade pictured is the TOPS version. So while I know that I'll likely never be able to afford an original Rinaldi, I can get the next best thing.
As I researched the blade, I found that Ron Hood had used and reviewed the Armageddon. A link to his review is here --> http://www.survival.com/trace.htm
Ron says its great and he seems like someone who knows a good knife. Actually, I just recently saw Ron Hood in the Nutnfancy review of Buck knives at shot show. In the interview, he unveils a new Ron Hood designed Buck knife, the Hoodlum. These two knives look very similar to me. It looks as if Ron may have taken some inspiration from the Armageddon when designing his blade.
I'm going to look further into how the steel of the TOPS version is heat treated. The heat tempering of the original Armageddon and the Hoodlum is done by Paul Bos. If the TOPS version is as well, I'll probably go with it. If not, I think I'll go with the Hoodlum.
Whew... that takes care of item no. 1.
No. 2 would have to be some type of flint firestarter. Im leaning toward the blastmatch.
On a side note, can anyone elaborate on why they would choose a bushcraft style knife with a 4 or 5 inch blade over a larger blade. I understand that it is better for small or intricate tasks but a larger blade can still do these things just not as well. I can't imagine that this is worth giving up the chopping ability of a large blade.