There. I said it. After all the scorn I have heaped on this blade over the past year...I must apologize. They absolutely lit my face up when I first tried them...and the second time.
It's been a bit over a year now since I started this thing of ours, and I decided to give the ole Astra a final try. I used my 38C and Tabac, a combo which I consider baseline and which allows a blade, in my experience, to either succeed or fail on its own terms.
It performed flawlessly. BBS with 3 passes. No irritation.
It was me. My technique is MUCH better, and the Astra was allowed to do its job. I'm 3 shaves into the blade, time to toss it, and I've gotten 3 excellent shaves.
And at .09 a blade, I am glad we reconciled!