I am from Western Australia.
I have been shaving for over 20 years and have tried every disposable/cartridge razor and shave cream/gel/serum on the market. Well, maybe not all but lots. Last year I found a combination that was giving me the best shave I had ever had - Gillette Fusion and Aesop Shave Serum (High end Australian made natural product). However, the cost of both products is unsustainable in the long term (I estimate it is costing me around AUS$1.50 per shave or around US$1.30). That led me to explore other options and I stumbled upon this site.
After weeks of reading this forum and watching the Mantic videos I had my first DE shave this morning. I used a Merkur Futur on setting 1, Proraso Pre Post cream, Trumpers Rose shave cream, and a Trumpers alum stick.
I was very cautious and took my time. In fact the shave took ages. I found shaving on the straight parts of my face easier than I expected but found the curved parts of the face and the neck difficult to shave. In the end I had the closest shave ever on some parts of my face but not on the other parts. I expect that this will come with time. I have no 'feel' for the razor at the moment but again I expect that this will come the more I use it.
All in all I was very happy with my first shave. As an added bonus the only cut was an existing spot on my face. I had anticipated a bloodbath!
Thank you all for the great advice and help.