A couple of weeks back I posted on my first DFS when I switched from a Merkur HD/TOBS cream/Derby blades to a Merkur 38c/Tabac soap/Feather blade. I've been using the latter combo and getting some very good shaves. About a week ago I got an EJ 89L, and I find it to be a wonderful razor - smoother (and better made) than the Merkur. However, I still seemed to get a slightly closer shave with the Merkur.
This morning I tried Nancy Boy Signature Scent Shaving Cream for the first time, paired with my EJ 89L and a Feather blade. Since it was the first try with NB cream I followed their instructions and just slathered it on with my fingers. The result was the closest, most enjoyable shave of my life! No irritation, not a single whisker left, well moisturized skin, bbs smooth. I didn't even know that it was possible to shave this comfortably and this closely.
Ironically, I was sad that the process was so simple. No badger brush, no whipping up of lather, no stropping, etc. I'm going to keep experimenting, but at least now I know what I'm shooting for.
Thanks for all your advice in my journey towards shaving nirvana.