I recently purchased a couple of scuttles (if one is good, then three are better, right?) and I find myself face lathering and using the scuttle as a brush warmer... which it does very well. In any case, when I 'whip up' a bowl of lather, I make it very thick - too much air certainly does cause it to sit on top of your whiskers. Also, too much light fluffy lather is hard to apply (my experience). I like to keep it creamy and thick...
Face lathering - for me - conserves soap. For some of the pricier soaps, this is a good thing. It is also much quicker to get to the right consistency (for me). My most recent kick is to use Arko and rub it directly on my face and build up a nice thick lather with the brush. So... I guess I keep going back to face lathering even when I have no real good reason other than it feels right to me. I can make a bowl of thick creamy lather - I just don't want to. It isn't part of the ritual right now. Of course, tomorrow I may change my mind. ;-}
re: canned goo is inappropriately maligned
I agree. If you want a nice shave, try putting a squirt of Gillette Gel into the top of a warm brush (a la KMF) and face lather with it (or even build it up in the scuttle). Works a treat. Gillette Gel is in my rotation - although since I managed to corner the entire Midwest supply of Arko and have decided to use some of it up - my soap rotation has stalled.
re: Use the bowl to add a scent to your lather
Absolutely. You can still do this with face lathering - whichever way you do it, it has a great effect.
Inventor of the world's first safety vibrating Kamisori with night light. Go to http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php/299465-A-milder-Kamisori: Inventor of the Weckisori - (thanks sychodelix)