I haven't shaved with a DE razor in 45 years, so I'd say that I'm a newbie once again. However, after just a week, I actually look forward to shaving in the morning. I'm retired, and since I don't have to rush off to work, I can spend as much time as I want on pre-shave preparation.
Presently, I am using a Merkur 34C with a Derby blade, Proraso soap in the green tub and a Mason Pearson Super Badger brush.
I get a SAS with one pass (WTG) + a little touch-up, DFS with two passes (WTG) and a little touch-up, and BBS with two passes (WTG) and one pass (ATG).
The only question I have is, how can wet shaving save me money? I have ordered a sh!tload of soaps, creams, razors and brushes in the past week!