A good knife will cut as well as you'd like, but only with proper and regular maintenance. This includes:
Using a proper cutting board. No hard surfaces such as granite or corian. Even plastic boards are harsh on edges. A good wood end-grain cutting board is the absolute best for keeping a sharp edge. A great, low maintenance alternative is the Sani-Tuff Rubber Cutting Board.
No contact with hard objects (washing and storing) - This means no contact with other utensils, the sink, countertop, soup cans, etc. Do not wash in the dishwasher (for many reasons!). Wash the knife separately and keep it protected in storage. Minor grazes against utensils or other hard surfaces will accumulate and dull the edge faster than you expect!
Keep the knife dry. Since it's not a stainless knife, it is prone to rust. Wipe down the knife if it won't be cutting anything soon. Don't store it wet.
Don't abuse it. Kitchen knives are usually meant to be a highly efficient cutters, not machetes or choppers. Find an alternative tool to chop through bones or pry cans open.
Maintain the edge.There are many different methods of touching up the edge. Lightly touching up on a fine grit waterstone is my personal suggestion, but has a learning curve and a slightly higher price tag; it is completely worth it for a high quality knife. An ok alternative is a ceramic honing rod. Eventually the knife will be dull and simply touching up the edge won't bring it back to life; at this point the knife needs a sharpening.