Bought the large Aikiken hand cut top grade several years ago. Did the hardening thing as well. Still gorgeous and looks brand new except for the hard won surface from many hours of hard training. I bought the large but knda wish I had got the regular but I am 230 and six feet so I went large. Works very well but I had a friend get the regular and it felt good as well. The cost is a little prohibitive but makes a great Christmas present (which mine was).
I got a top-grade (on the older grading system, which was like A, A+, A++ or something) Aikiken in 2002 and despite being very careful about storage and maintenance it finally splintered at ASU DC summer camp in 2007. I replaced it with one of his Yagyu bokken and found that I don't need to be nearly as smashy. The thing is like the toothpick of death.