In Merkur I see a fundamentally good design trying to overcome poor execution in manufacturing.
My Merkur Barber Pole sides shave differently. I believe this is because the manufacturing process put a more acute rougher edge on one side that scrapes more of the lather off. The razor still gives me a fine shave. I keep it and use it for sentimental reasons as it was a gift from my brother. Every time I use it I am reassured I have my fundamentals right. In contrast the DE89L manufacturing and finish is spectacular. It give a much easier and forgiving shave than can be just as close.
The Merkur Barber Pole with Merkur blade combo will definitely make you suffer if you have bad technique or take too many passes.
I am using both less frequently in my rotation because the R41 2011 has become my daily razor.
r41,DE89L,45,38c,22r,1912 JR;Iridium,PermaSharp,Astra SP;CF Lime,Cella,MWF,Pacific,Tabac,VDH,Arko