I thought I would post a few notes on my experiences with the SMF brush. I have to say, it has been a learning curve for me, since it behaves quite differently than my old Savile Row. After a week and a half of use, I am thrilled with the performance of the brush. Going back and using my SR really feels inferior now. I think my experience really emphasizes that shaving is a learned skill that takes time. This may be contributing to some people's frustration with the brush - it is not plug-and-play (at least for me).
What has worked for me:
1. Soak this bad boy good. You definitely cannot get by giving it a quick run under the tap. This brush (especially when brand new) takes some time to absorb water. I have been soaking it in a mug while I shower - makes a big difference.
2. Don't be skimpy with product. This brush needs more cream/soap than I am used to. This, combined with its water retention capabilities, can lead very easily to thin lather. I believe that many of us use too little cream in general; a brush can whip up a very minimal amount of cream into what looks like good lather, but with very little lubrication properties, leading to an inferior shave. Try adding more cream next time and build up a thick mass of lather - you won't believe the difference.
3. Shake out that water. This brush holds so much water that you really have to shake it out. I mean really shake it out. Don't be shy - there will be plenty of water left. I also find that I need to start with a thicker lather (see #2), since as the brush sits between passes, the water in the brush will seep into the lather, thinning it out. I had this problem for a while before I figured it out. Err on the side of too thick, and it will thin out over the time of your shave.
I hope this helps folks out.