Well, I said I would post my first time DE shaving progress, so without further adieu...
First shave: Merkur blade that came with razor. Williams soap puck.
This was a fantastic shave, with the exception of my neck which still had stubble, but I did not want to overdo it the first time. My lather was pathetic, but even so the shave was better than the fusion I used before. Post-shave I used Dickonson's witch hazel and Corn Huskers. My neck was somewhat irritated, but not too bad.
Second shave: Used same blade. Used pre-shave oil this time (home made: 2 parts castor oil, 1 part olive oil, 5 drops lavender essential oil). I used VHD deluxe soap this time just to try it. This was a crappy shave. One weeper. The blade was skipping and grabbing, it seemed totally tatered, but how could it after one shave? Same post-shave process. Skin was more irritated than before, especially my neck, it was all red and blotchy.
Third Shave: Put new blade in, Dorco ST-300. No pre-shave oil this time. New soap: Col. Conk, smells real nice. This was a real easy shave, the blade seemed very forgiving, but not super sharp. My lather was not good, it kept just dissolving off my face, don't know why other than my lathering skills are subpar. I ended up switching to VHD mid-shave, and got some great lather. This was the best shave I have ever had, even though my technique is pretty rough.
Anyway, I think this is going to be a fun and rewarding experience. Thanks for all the great advice and information.