After "properly" wetshaving for about six weeks, I would never go back. I sported a full beard for many years, and then just w/in the last two years went to just the moustache/goatee. My Dad has pretty much always had a full beard, and so I never learned the "right" way to shave. I was content with a Gillette Sensor razor, or (God help me) the cheaper disposables with any ol' Barbasol or other canned goo, or even an electric razor. I never felt like I got the greatest shave, but I got it over with and moved on with my day.
But as I get older, I want to do things "better", not just more quickly. (I've gotten that way with my coffee, tobacco, and other pleasures in life, too. Quality over quantity and simple convenience!) And as others have pointed out here, it really doesn't take that much longer to "properly" wetshave.
I'm still using the starter stuff, like a Col. Conk boar brush and The Bay Rum shave soap I got at the local general store. I love my Merkur long-handled classic razor. But I am also looking forward to "moving up" to a good badger brush and higher-end creams, etc.
I think the online purveyors will still be the best way to go, because the Wal-Marts and Eckerd's of the world sell what sells most. But as long as I can get the more quality items (wherever they can be gotten) I will do it. (And you should see my Christmas wish list!)
[FONT="Trebuchet MS"]I do not belong to the school which holds that aggression is to be met by concession. Mine is the opposite creed, which teaches that encroachments must be met at the beginning, and that those who act on the opposite principle are prepared to become slaves. In this case, in particular, I hold concession or compromise to be fatal.[i]--John C. Calhoun of South Carolina[/i][/font]