I'm not exactly a n00b, as I was very active on this forum a couple of years ago and probably have a few hundred DE shaves under my belt. I fell away from DE shaving (and wet shaving altogether) around the time that we had our first child in favor of a (gasp) electric. It took only 4 minutes to shave with the electric compared to 15-20 with a DE, and while the results weren't as good they were acceptable-looking enough that I didn't mind. I know some of you are saying, "What kind of idiot would accept an inferior shave just to shave (pun intended) 10-15 minutes off of his morning routine?" I don't really have a good answer to that, but once we had kids sleep was at a premium and it became important to get into work as early as possible so I could leave as early as possible to be home with the family. The 10-15 minutes cut from shave time might not seem like a big deal, but when I added it to the 20 or so minutes I could cut out of other parts of my morning routine, that meant I could sleep in 30 minutes and still make it into work on time.
Fast forward about 18 months. We have two kids now and my job is busier than it was then, yet I've decided to give DE shaving another shot. I've realized that the reason I stopped wetshaving was because I got too sucked in to the various AD's (which cost money and irritated my wife) and getting a BBS shave (which took a ridiculous amount of time). I also used up too much prep time and used a soap (MWF) that took a very long time to lather properly. I wanted to get my face 100% BBS every time, which caused irritation and led me to need an alum block followed by multiple layers of aftershave (whose application also took up extra time). Thus, shaving took 20 minutes nearly every morning, and I got sick of it.
This time around, I've decided to be a bit more practical. All of my old wetshaving stuff is in storage (since we're in the process of selling our house), so I'm starting from scratch with a Gillette SS, Red Pack Personna Blades, Cremo Cream, no brush, and realistic expectations. I don't need a BBS; I just need a better shave than a Fusion or electric with no irritation. On weekends, I can splurge with a more luxurious BBS shave, but during the week it's about a DFS and getting out the door. Once we move and I get my old wetshaving stuff (a nice super badger brush, a Merkur HD, and another SS) out of storage, I can upgrade my shave to a better cream or a quick-lathering soap. I'm not going to waste my money with AD's (since I already know what products work well for me after my AD's last time). If I can make wetshaving quick, cheap, and convenient, there's a chance I might actually stick with it this time.
Anyway, that's my story, for anywone who cares. We'll see how this DE shaving business goes the second time around.