I can offer something to question #1.
I got back into DE shaving by purchasing a Merkur HD. Once I developed the proper grip and angle, I started getting some really smooth shaves.
You may also have to try different brands of blades to see which combination of blade and razor works best. For a lot of folks here, that is half the fun.
Question #2 I will leave up to someone else.
Of a thousand shavers, two do not shave so much alike as not to be distinguished.
Samuel Johnson: Boswell's Life, Sept. 19, 1777