AEBL is my favorite Stainless for kitchen knives. When heat treated correctly, its is very hard to match, let alone beat in the kitchen. I'd forget about using the forge and just send it out and rest assured that it was done right.
Alpha knife supply is a good source. They have AEB-L, 13C26, and 14C28N - all are in different thickness ranges. Just pick the thickness you wish and use any of them. I like 14C28N, per Sandvik it's improved over 13C26, and the cost of any of those is very reasonable. All heat treat about the same, and any will make a GREAT blade. the addition of nitrogen is said to make 14C28N more corrosion resistance, but I can't see any problem with corrosion with any of them.