If we are not speaking about a factory style production, my bet would be on Daniel Watson.
I know that they are quite expensive compared with the others, but you would have a great sword made with one of the strongest steel available out there… I’ve discovered them after I saw the episode of Mythbusters where a katana was supposed to cut through a barrel Browning 30 cal. machinegun… the Angelswords blade was the only one to do that… not only that but it gave a double cut.
In all yes Marto and Hanwei are the best there is but I voted for cold steel because they possesses the one thing not all sword makers have, and that’s durability, I’ve kept a sword that roughly 8 years old from cold steel and it still looks brand new.
Peter Johnsson hands down, European and Viking style if you can afford him.
Howard Clark Japanese and Asian styles swords.
You’re not going to find the best sword for under $2000, just not going to happen.