Shortly after posting the above, I decided that I couldn't wait any longer, so I ploughed in. (I didn't shave this morning.)
Let me say as an introduction that for a number of years I used a brush with hard soap, both Surrey and some expensive soaps with lanolin (maybe Crabtree & Evelyn, I can't remember). I usually used a single blade Bic disposable. I was quite content with that set-up.
When I moved to NC over five years ago, I couldn't get the soap to lather, so I gave up and started using an electric shaver mostly.
For the past year or so, I have been using the Schick Xtreme3 disposable with canned shaving cream, either the Walmart house brand or Barbasol.
After two weeks of reading this board, I ditched the Barbasol and bought on a whim a tube of Neutragena shaving cream, which is a greasy lotion which is used brushless and works surprisingly well. My shaves the past two weeks have gone quite well.
Last week I saw Mantic's video on lathering, and learned that I had been doing it wrong all that time! I was using too much water, and never got the lather the soap was capable of!
My shaving mug is much like an average size coffee mug, so I decided to use it to hold the distilled water. I used a small (and cheap) china bowl for the lather. I decided to use the Arko, figuring that there was no need to waste the Bigelow on a first effort.
The Arko lathered up beautifully in the bowl right away. The best of my life! However, the lather with the room temperature distilled water seemed surprisingly cold on my face. I got used to it, but it was not a comfortable temperature.
The Weichi razor came with a single Dorco blade (which maybe Giovanni slipped into the case), and since the Dorco is recommended for beginners anyway, I decided to use that.
The first stroke was a very unpleasant surprise. The blade seemed very dull. The entire shave was like that for both edges. Was it the blade or my technique? Time will tell. A most uncomfortable shave.
I was careful to shave lightly without pressure. The blade was not getting to quite a number of whiskers on my upper lip. Eventually, I used the Xtreme3 to remove the last hairs nearest my nose, for fear of cutting myself.
It was not a close shave, but it was satisfactory for a first effort. There were no nicks or cuts, no razor burn or rash, nothing like that.
I don't usually use after shave, so I thought that I would do without it to see what would happen. What happened is that my face felt great for more than an hour! I credit that to the Arko.
Many of my Bic disposables were uncomfortable the first shave, so maybe this is a case of a cheap blade which needs to be used once. I am going to use the Dorco one more time to see if it improves. If not, it's definitely headed for the blade bank.
All things considered, my first DE shave in 40 years was much worse than my shave yesterday with the disposable multi blade with the Neutragena cream. No one would switch to DEs on the basis of that experience, but people might switch to a brush and cream because of it.