All of the above are good solid, customer-friendly vendors. I don't know of any "American Made" razors. Parkers are made in India, Merkurs in Germany, Edwin Jagger in England, Weishi in Japan. If you MUST have American-made, then go for a vintage Gillette.
Gel or Foam? Not a stupid question, but very important. NO, do not use anything in a can. No Goo! You need a shaving soap or cream that is made to be used with a brush and water, hence the traditional "wetshave". Spend some time in the Shave Clinic and Newbie Forum threads. There is no question you will have as a Newbie that hasn't been fully answered and discussed. There is a forum on Shave Soaps, or do a search. Get a brush and a quality soap (VDH, Col. Conk, TOBS) or cream (Proraso/Bigelow), and a sample pack of blades and jump on in! You will find that the hot water and lather is just fine!
"Look Sharp... Feel Sharp... Be Sharp!" TOFLAC-U, BOTSS, SSB, Order of Pinaud