It's good to hear the thoughts of a true Old Timer!
My first couple of years here were characterized by feverish experimentation and the expenditure of large sums of money. Then I started consolidating, adding the occasional new product after that. Out of concern that favorite expendables would be discontinued (primarily blades) or reformulated (soaps), I built up great cache of preferred soaps and blades.
Razors: My favorite razor for a long time was the Gillette Tech with the short, thick handle. Though since then, I have settled on the Mergress (on its lowest setting) as my primary razor, followed by the Schick Krona.
Brushes: My favorites are made by Semogue, a tiny family-owned factory in northern Portugal. I like their badger brushes better than any others, though lately I have been best served by one of their boar brushes, the 1305. Most boar bristle make me think of straw, but the Semogue 1305 and the 830 are made of a unique grade of boar bristle that I find extraordinarily effective and a pleasure to use.
Soaps: I'm very sensitive to fragrances, so these have to be unscented, very lightly fragranced, or scented with EO. My favorite commercial soaps are Valobra hard soaps (Valobra Shave Stick, the newer Valobra cake soap in unscented, and the old AoS) and Cella. I also like artisan soaps, such as Mike's Natural scented with lime. I liked Tim's Soap, too, while it was available. I now have a mega-stash of Valobra, in the three forms listed above, as well as some Cella, Mike's, and others.
Blades: I actually do pretty well with most blades, except Feathers. My favorites of Personna Med Prep/Hospital Use, Tíz (a blade a friend brought me from Iran), Perma-Sharp Super, Gillette Rubie, Treet Dura-Sharp (PTFE-coated carbon steel), and others. I think the best blades ever made were the Personna 74, of which I have a small supply.
Nowadays, I tend to stick with what works, doing very little rotation of tools.