A couple of weeks ago I bought an Art of Shaving starter kit that was on sale at Nordstroms for $10 on a whim. This kit includes a pre-shave oil, shave cream, small badger brush and aftershave balm. I started to research how to use these items and ended up here and have been lurking. Since, in addition to the kit, I've come to own 9 vintage DE razors and a VDH luxury shave kit (pure badger hair brush, stand, mug, soap) in addition to the starter set.
I got the bug. I have a fatboy, 2 slims, 4 super speeds, red & black and old type razors. I will probably end up trading or selling some of these to get a collection made up primarily of birth year + quarter razors (1 of the slims I have is already my birth year and quarter). It looks like Gillette reached the pinnacle of DE razor design somewhere between the mid 50s to mid 60s. In a true life "Man in the White Suit" story, they got it perfect and killed it.
I've been shaving a week with the slim boy and it's like driving a car with a manual transmission vs an automatic. There is a learning curve (mostly because of my bad habits carrying over from shaving with a disposable/cartridge for so long) and it does take significantly longer with the DE but I can tell already that once I have the angle of the razor to the face mastered, the actual shaving time shouldn't be significantly longer. I am taking longer to prep for the shave though. I used to just run a cartridge across in the shower but now shaving is becoming a zen-like experience. All I need now is to have this guy move to New York and I'll be in heaven: