Now, my story.
I decided to "ditch the electric" sometime during the holidays last year, being simply sick and tired of the dry feeling I would always have after shaving with my Braun 5-series electric. Although I was consistently getting BBS shaves on my face, I always had some stubble and minor irritation on my neck. Nivea Extra Sensitive ASB (which I thankfully discovered on my own two-ish years ago) helped, but could only go so far.
Pre-Braun, I shaved with the standard Mach 3 w/canned junk. Those shaves were worse than the Braun - I knew there had to be a better way. I started doing research and thankfully found this site. After reading reviews and recommendations threads, I decided on a Merkur HD starter set from Vintage Blades.
A few days (and several YouTube videos/instructional threads) later my package arrived. I whip up a damn fine lather with Col. Conk Bay Rum soap and have at it with my HD, equipped with a <gasp> Feather. Not a bad shave, a bit more irritation than I would have liked, but I now attribute that to rushing to the Feather in a razor as aggressive as a HD. I've used a few different blades since, and as of late have been getting freakin' sweet results with Sharks.
The first shave was enough to reel me in. While the shave wasn't amazing, the entire experience (using Kyle's prep) was extraordinary. A few shaves later, once I got my technique down and started to find blades I like, AD kicked into high gear. Since January 1st my den has grown to:
Gillete Travel Tech
Rooney 3/1 Pure
Simpson Wee Scot
Gillette Sharp Edge
Gillette Perma Sharp
Gillette Super Platinum
Col. Conk Bay Rum
D.R. Harris Arlington Sampler
Mama Bear's Samplers (Turkish Mocha, Dragon's Tears, Rosemary Mint, Ye Olde Barbershoppe, Dublin Tweed, Dragon's Blood)
Williams (at .99, total impulse buy)
Taylor's Samplers (Almond, Avocado, Eton College, Sandalwood, Shaving Shop)
Musgo Real Sampler
Cheapo Witch Hazel
Dollar Store Knockoff Old Spice
Aqua Velva Original
Nivea Extra Sensitive ASB
Also note, the list could be longer. I've exercised some restraint to not order a lot more. I figure samplers are a safe way to find out what I like for myself...although now I find myself checking the BST and flea-bay for a nice Tech/SS...