I have tried face-lathering when I first started wet-shaving (a suggestion to produce lather with an otherwise stubborn puck of Col. Conks).
I have two problems with face lathering: I have a small face, and therefore very little real estate on which to lather; and face lathering seems to just rip my face apart - no matter how soft the bristles.
So - bowl latherer I am. A couple of minutes to get lather in the bowl, and then I spend no more than 30 seconds working it into my beard. I imagine it's less than 1 minute total on my face before I reach for my razor.
"Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy!"