I have been at this now for a little over two months, I believe and just wanted to thank folks here for the support.
First, this is a great forum. I wish I could meet you all in person. There would be much more to the characters I meet here than just shaving, I am sure. Thanks to all for the continued help, especially the tips and reviews.
Second, just saw the posting on the home page for newby basics. This is really great and I encourage all to read it. I especially like the principle of "ones": one razor, one cream/soap, one brush, one blade type, one month then change only one thing at a time. This principle applies to so many things in life.
Third, I won't try to give any major tips from my short experience right now (ok, maybe a couple)...could not top what was said on the home page but, some thoughts:
-This is worth it. Wet shaving is giving me a better shave, a more enjoyable experience, and has started a new hobbie. You could save more money doing this, I know, but for me, the experience is worth the cash. I am about $350 into this so far and have not found the bottom...or hit the bottom! ( Fatboy coming next week!)
-Financially, in case you are a starving college student, I recommend a Super Adjustable, Proraso, simple badger brush, and Astra blades and I bet you could keep this to $125 for the first year and about $75 per year after. Compare to $140 or so per year for terrible cartridge shaves and zero fun. If you insist on cartridge shaving, sign up for Dollar Shave Club. $6.00 a month gets you a free handle and four, four bladed carts per month sent to you automatically. $1.00 gets you the handle and 6, two bladed carts per month. And, the YouTube only commercial will have you ROTFLOL.
-This is also worth it because doing hard things for better results is always rewarding. I will be teaching my son to wet shave first and then he can choose. I am a Marine and face this "let's make it easy" thing even as it has crept into our Corps with uniform items, et al. (we still fight good, so no worries there. Could tell you some stories from Battle of Fallujah where our guys faced WW II like combat and were smiling at the end of the day). We have anodized brass and Corfam plastic shoes both of which I abandoned for good Japanese Regal leathers ($275), sterling silver insignia, and leather Sam Browne. All this needs polishing frequently but is cheaper in the end and looks better too. Corfam rots and clouds in a year and our "brass" corrodes...all this stuff is treated as disposable and not good for morale, discipline, or fostering an atmosphere of conservative self reliance. Saw some of the results of this in Iraq ( I was an Iraqi Army advisor) where many of our advisors wanted to throw money at problems and our Iraqi soldiers would often dig deep and use what they had to create a better solution...it all comes into play. Character is built in microns of influence at a time.
If you are new, keep it up. It can be more than just "hot water, soap, and a sharp piece of steel" if you choose to make it more. I do and will keep the faith here to keep moving forward. Thanks again to all the guys here that do the heavy lifting for the rest of us.