I've been reading up this whole wetshaving thing for the past few days and this site looked like a great place to start reading more first hand accounts and asking questions as I get into the process.
First, a bit of backstory: I've been an on-off user of various cartridges and electric shavers. I've got this odd beard that grows slowly enough I could almost shave every other day and get away with it, but comes in pretty coarse and tears up blades.
I recently joined the Navy (commissioned an ensign in May '10, training up to go on submarines, maybe by next January) and since I have to shave on a daily basis for God and Country, this wetshaving thing looks like a good way to enjoy and (slowly) perfect what's otherwise been an annoying chore.
I'm looking to get either the Merkur HD or the Merkur 23c (180). Not sure which because I'm debating the need for the longer handle. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I've got a boar bristle brush I picked up a few months ago when I got Body Shop brand shave cream. I like the lathering process alright although I'm sure I'm still pretty amateur at it. I also grabbed their shave oil, although it didn't really come with directions and I'm not sure exactly where in the process it fits. I've been applying it to a wet face before lathering up to shave.