Thanks. I ordered a brush and a bowl last night--let's see, you will want to know--see the pic.
The Bruce was the perfect choice - if you asked me to narrow it down to one brush, that's probably what I would have said. I don't use a bowl personally, just always seemed like more stuff to clean up. I make lather on the face and that helps to keep my whiskers soft and ready to shave, but there's pros and cons to both approaches. Try it both ways and see what you prefer.
Buffing already explained by @desertcat. You can probably leave that stuff for a while - the "advanced techniques" are only really necessary if you have difficult areas / growth and can't get a close enough shave without them. I rely heavily on the Gillette Slide, but many people get perfectly good shaves without that stuff.