I have been lurking for a while, figured I would wait and post until I had a couple shaves under my belt.
I started with the CE Best Badger ($17.50 at an C&E Outlet Store), the Merker 38C, and today I had my first shave with Mama Bear Soap.
Of course with any beginner there was a little bit of a learning curve. I switched to DE because like so many other people here, my neck could not handle the mach 3. So as expected my neck has taken most of the brunt of learning to shave with the DE. I find it gets better the more shaves I have on a blade. I have only switched the blade once so far, but the first shave with the second blade, was almost just as bad as the first shave ever. I am using Merker blades as well, I am thinking I should go with something more forgiving.
The learning curve has gone faster than expected though, although I still have rough days, I notice I am getting better every shave.
On a side note, I love the Mama Bear Soap. I wasn't sure it could live up to all the hype around here, but it did and then some.