Seeing how your new to the knife world I'm going to push you away from the $200+ more collectible blades and more towards the working blades. For me choosing a knife comes down to three categories: size, lockup, and style. You already know what size you need, 3 inch or below, and you probably already have a style you think is cool. Some great knives for EDC that I suggest (based off of my own experience as well as those close to me) are the Spyderco Endura/Delica in FFG, Byrd Medowlark 2, Benchmade mini griptilian, Sog flash 1 series, and Kershaw chive/scallion/leek.http://www.knivesplus.com/SPYDERCO-KNIV ... NDURA.HTMLhttp://www.knivesplus.com/spyderco-knife-byrd.htmlhttp://www.knivesplus.com/SG-7-SOG.HTMLhttp://www.knivesplus.com/benchmadegriptilian.htmlhttp://www.knivesplus.com/kershaw-leek-knives.htmlhttp://www.knivesplus.com/kershaw-scallion-knives.html
Knife choice is a very personal thing, the thing that really turns you onto one knife may be exactly what turns someone else off of it. That being said if you go with any of those knives you'll not be disappointed. They are all high quality blades that are perfect for EDC use.
My personal EDC is the Endura 4 FFG. I like the rust resistance and edge retention properties of VG-10 steel, I also like that it's easy to sharpen when need be. I like the slicing characteristics of the full flat ground blade as opposed to other grinds because I use my knife for food prep pretty regularly. I like the size of the blade especially when combined with the light weight of the FRN handles with skeletonized steel liners.I prefer the lockback system over other locking systems because of it's ease of use with gloved hands and strength of lockup. I also like the deployment hole over a stud because I find it's easier to use with gloved hands. All of these features are what turned me onto the Endura, however I own a sog flash 1 and benchmade griptillian, and have owned a kershaw scallion and byrd medolark in the past. If you are thinking of spending 200-300 dollars on a blade and aren't really sure what you like I would suggest picking a few of those (maybe not a spyderco and a byrd as they are 2 lines from the same company) and asking for them. That way you could really get a feel for what you like in a knife, have a couple back ups in case you loose/break your main edc blade, and have the start of a very high quality collection.
"I love that image of blasting backwards through the pearly gates in a flaming Swedish super car, 'YES I'M HERE, WHERE ARE THE WOMEN?!?"