Just some thoughts. Over the last 9 months I have tried numerous products from the cheap Arko cream to the more expensive Taylor's creams to the very expensive Acqua Di Parma cream. Same for soaps and after shave products; cheap Vergulde Hand soap, more expensive Tabac soap, expensive English soaps, cheap drugstore AS lotions and the expensive Acqua Di Parma ASB.
My opinion after 9 months of wet shaving is that we as a community sometimes exaggerate the quality of certain products. Yes, certain products really outclass the competition; Tabac shaving soap being the best example. Overall however, I think that the quality of many products is far closer than the price tags on some of these products makes us want to believe. The best example is the quality of certain Nivea products. In my opinion, their regular ASB is at least equal to the ASB offered by Acqua di Parma (though I admit that I have used ADP a couple of times only). Another example is the very cheap Nivea shaving cream in the blue tube. In my opinion, it is at least equal if not better than many of the Taylor creams that I have used.
Now I am the first to admit that I also like to exaggerate every now and then when I am really enthusiastic about a new product. Overall, I do believe that we sometimes exaggerate a bit too much.