Let me join the chorus of approval on this list. It really is the kind of post that belongs as a sticky. Thanks!
Please trust this list. I've been wetshaving for several months now, and this week wanted to try a "frugal" shave (thanks, Mantic, for the idea) using very inexpensive, but quality products--all but one on this list.
Merkur HD--my only razor, so more expensive than others on the list,
Dorco blade (sample pack),
(I added L'Oreal's ASB with sunscreen, solely because I like it as a lighter sunscreen that's inexpensive.)
I got a fantastic shave on par with some of my very best using much more expensive products. No nicks, no cuts, BBS that lasted well into the evening after an early AM shave.
Rob speaks the truth: You absolutely do not need expensive products to get started--or to keep going for months. Are some more expensive products worth it? You bet. But, you don't need to spend that money to get started, and to enjoy great shaves for months to come!