Well, my first 2 DE's with my Futur and Merkur blade are done. I don't like the cheap VDH brush at all, but that might be technique. I did Truefitt and Hill Trafalgar from my samples on the first shave last night. Love the smell, but the A/S didn't do anything that I could see. This morning I used Speick and the cold rinse and got down to 2.5 on the Futur. I had 2 nicks but I'm lovin' it for my first times! Love the Speick and the Proraso pre/post shave was so invigorating, and my face feels much better than yesterday. I totally spaced loading a fresh Feather in, but it is loaded now! I put on some Truefitt Freshman to complete the package. Now to find a great bodywash and pitstick!! Oh, and a brush.....duh! My Old Spice After Hours seems too sweet and kid-like now. All of this because I watched a short How It Works show on razors and blades from Merkur. Well, AND reading up on this wonderful site.