Hi Ed Yeah im like that too - 5 oclock shadow joins me for lunch sometimes. Personal experience - I got a big jump in smoothness from switching to a DE, and increased uhhh longlastingness. 5 oclock shadow joining me for afternoon tea instead. I first bought a supermarket DE - plastic Gillette one - and yup immediate difference was noted. Then stumbled across a cheapy metal one in Thailand and bought that, and then got the Merkur recently when I was in England. My opinion - the $100 Merkur isnt shaving me noticeably better than the 30 cent plastic Gillette DE - so if your supermarket has those, suggest picking one up and testing it out to see if DE makes the difference for you. Hell, I'll mail you one if you want it, they are so cheap and have really cool pictures on the back to show you how to use it (it ends with a smiling cartoon woman touching the face of her handsomely shaved hero
). Anyhow, if you find the DE shave smoother, then upgrade to a Merkur or similar later... Now, flipside....it takes a long time to shave with the DE. My Power M3 still get used when I am running crazy late and just shave in the shower etc. The other thing, which I posted in another thread, is that if I spent 15-20 mins playing search-and-destroy with the M3 in front of a well lit enlarging shaving mirror (as I do with the DE), rather than just running it all over my face and then running out the door, then maybe it would be just as effective.