Thought I'd add my 2cents about the Hot Pot and the results of my shave from it. First off, I have to thank Joel, who managed to get me to lose my mind and open my Vision all the way open for my next shave. All I can say is that it was well worth it. I took it a bit slower, but I finally had to put the images of my face all torn up out of my head. The resultant shave was the smoothest I've ever gotten with little to no irritation whatsoever.
Ok, the Hotpot. I'd love to post pics but I don't have a digital camera....
Bought it at Target for $9.99 and bought a wide stoneware-type bowl as well for $2.99. All I can say is that it makes the biggest difference in the world. Not only does hot lather feel awesome on your face, it brings out the aroma of the cream a lot better. After I got the hotpot to a rolling boil (about 3-4 minutes), I immediately unplugged it and let it stop boiling and got it to the "steaming" point. At which point, I poured the water in the mug with my shavemac brush and let it heat up. I also poured some hot water into the stoneware bowl to heat it up too. Then after letting my brush soak for about 2 minutes while I got my face good & wet, I got my cream on my brush and began working the lather in the bowl and it took about 5 swirls to see that I was getting a much different result than usual. By 15 to 20 swirls I had a lather that resembled a cool whip/meringue in the bowl. At which time, I set the bowl on top of the hot pot to allow the steam to keep the bowl warm. Then the moment of truth, brush to face.
WOW! WOW! Why was I not doing this before now? The whole lather experience just was in another world. And the aroma of the cream being hotter just about knocked me over, it was insane. While shaving, I was letting the bowl rest on top of the hotpot to keep the lather warm and I did notice that the cream seemed to dry out a bit, but, never to fear. You have a whole pot of steamy hot water beneath it, so I just poured a teensy little bit of hotpot water into my shave bowl and did about 5-10 swirls and back to normal we were. No big deal. On my 2nd & 3rd passes, lathering up each time just made my face tingle.
All in all, well worth the $10 for what it adds to the shave. Also, it doesn't take anymore time. Actually, it takes less time because while I'm waiting for my water to boil, I'm brushing my teeth and doing various other tasks. I was in & out of the bathroom in 25 mins, less than my usual 30. I just keep the hotpot under the sink too, rather than on the countertop.
Guys, highly recommend it. Hope this review from a newbie is at least a bit helpful if you're considering it but are on the fence.