I currently use a Nosyuiaido iaito (2 shaku 4sun 5bu) and a Paul Chen Bushido Katana for Muso Shinden Ryu Iai practice. The quality of the Nosyu iaito is very good but at a price (mine was $795). As of late, I've been using the Paul Chen live blade for practice but have yet to actually test cut with it. However, the quality of the blade looks and feels pretty solid. At 29+ inches from kissaki to munemachi, it is long enough for me (5'8", 170lbs). I have to say that for a cutting blade you can't beat the $825 price tag (I bought it for $775 plus tax from a local martial arts supply store). I too am looking for a shinken or an older live blade but don't currently have the thousands of dollars to spend on one. Also, my iai ain't that superb where I need a real quality blade. Hope this is of some help.