Damascus steel is primarily used for it`s beautiful looks rather than it`s performance as a cutting tool, modern tool steels when heat treated correctly will outperform damascus.Damascus steel was developed centuries ago to solve the problem of inconsistent alloying and heat treating processes of early bladesmiths. Those early bladesmiths knew that by adding carbon to iron resulted in steel, which was much more durable than simple iron, problem was if you had too little iron the blade would not harden when heat treated and would bend in battle(not good) if too much carbon was in the steel the blade would snap in half during battle (not good either) Some genius realized that if he forge welded a bar of low carbon steel to a bar of high carbon steel then folded the steel several times to produce many alternating layers of high and low carbon steel, the hard steel would stop the low carbon steel from bending and the low carbon steel would stop the high carbon steel from snapping, when the finished blade was polished the high carbon steel resisted the polishing more than the low carbon steel and a beautiful wood grain like pattern would emerge from the finished blade.Making blades this way was very labor intensive but produced a fine quality battle worthy weapon. The link you posted for Hometown knives states that their damascus is made from 1095 and 15n20, 1095 is for the "tool" function of the blade 15n20 is for the "pretty" part of the blade. 1095 is a good quality steel, most U.S. military knives such as the U.S.M.C. Kabar and other well known G.I. knives were made from 1095. 15n20 is also a good steel, it has a high nickel content so that when the finished blade is acid etched the 15n20 resists the acid more than the 1095 and gives better contrast to the damascus pattern.
As far a the quality of damascus blades in general? it ranges from poor to wonderful depending on the steels involved and the care taken in it`s creation. The prices shown on the Hometown knives website seem quite reasonable for damascus knives and they look quite good but I have no feedback on their actual quality of construction.