Let me preface my advice by saying that I am a newbie as well. Some things you may need to look at: Have you critically analyzed the direction of your beard growth? It seems like some people make the assumption that WTG means a direct N-S and ATG means a direct S-N, but this is simply not true for a lot of guys. Using myself as an example, on the right side of my neck the hair grows downward but cheats to the right at about 30 degrees, while on the left side of my neck it grows directly downward. The same may apply to your moustache area and your chin. That's just something to think about. As far as lathering goes, it has been quite the trial and error experience. While the other guys may be right about the badger brush, some people actually prefer lathering a glycerin soap with a boar brush due to the fact that the brush retains less water, that way you can control the amount of water you add (and you should do it in very small quantities). Perhaps you should move your lather to a bowl for a while to help you get a better understanding of the proper water/soap ratio. I know that when I started using soap to build a lather, I would use every available moment to work on my technique and figure out what I was doing wrong. Chalk it up to my compulsive nature As I said at the beginning, I am still a newbie myself, but perhaps this can help you in some way. Best of luck and stick with it!
Razor: Gillette Tech Ball End, '61 SuperSpeed, Merkur HD
Blades: Red Pack Personnas, Wilkinson Sword Classic
Brushes: Tweezerman Badger, Col. Conk chrome handle pure badger
Shave Soap: Col. Conk Amber
Shave Cream: C.O. Bigelow Green, TOBS Lavender, KMF Unscented
After: Nivea Shave Balm, Dickenson's Witch Hazel, Aqua Velva