I've just returned from a two-week business trip through Europe, during which I conducted an exhaustive (and yet totally unscientific) study of the effects of different water supplies on the quality of lather produced.
The conclusion: It matters a heck of a lot. More, IMHO, than the quality of brush or soap used.
I found, for instance, that straight municipal water in London, UK produced far better lather than does the highly-softened water I have here in the mid-western US - using identical equipment, supplies, and technique. A hot, wet brush loaded with soap produced thick, creamy lather with just a few seconds of face-lathering. Results were even better in the Southwest UK, less so in northern France. Worst of all in eastern Germany. But still all better than the results I get with US softened water.
We would do well to keep this sort of thing in mind when offering advice or giving hints to those struggling with brush-lathering. The fault, Dear Brutus, lies not in our wrists but in our wells.*
On the other hand: Not EVERYTHING was great as far as European bathrooms are concerned. British and French toilets are, IMHO, revolting - usually requring the use of a brush after nearly every use. Water pressure was uneven, temperature control haphazard. Bathroom tissue ranged from American-plush to crinkly-unpleasant. And for some reason, many European bathroom engineers seem not to have mastered the concept of the mixer faucet: instead of having one spout, from which issues water whose temperature one can moderate, one is faced with two: giving you the choice of rinsing your face or washing your hands with water that is either scalding hot or bonechilling cold.
*In case you're wondering about this paraphrase