I know this has been spoken about many times, but from one newbie trying out VDH pucks, some other Col. Conk puck, even some tallow soaps and I have had a "good" experience but lathering still was a process.
It feels like Proraso has just a few things going for it for newbies:
1. Sometimes people are picky with scents, especially when they differ so greatly, floral, musky, etc. and this has Menthol and Eucalyptus Oil, which I find to be well strong enough to give a nice cooling effect, yet not too strong to be overpowering at all. In fact, I like Menthol but I'm not a huge fan, I find too much can be a bit "too refreshing" to where it's irritating, but Proraso definitely uses just the right amount (of course YMMV but I feel like it being the middle-ground it's a good one to start on because the chances of you wanting to chuck it for not liking the scent will probably be pretty low).
2. After struggling with some tough to lather glycerin soaps the Proraso almost felt like it took TOO LITTLE energy to whip up, I used way more than I needed (like always) and I was shocked that in a few minutes I had TONS of thick lather. It also seemed to remind me more of a Tallow-type lather than a glycerin one due to the fact that it lathered so well. Wonder if Proraso + menthol Tallow soap would be nice :)
Of course the price is a factor, I got 2 long-lasting tubes for $11.00 here:
I know some people don't like it and that isn't the point I'm making, I just think that the VDH puck that came with the starter set works fine, or more than fine. But for a little scent, cooling feeling, and a great lather, this soap is super economical and I loved it, I thought more newbies may think about picking this up, especially if price is a factor.