I can stretch this blade to 5 shaves as I found out in the March Fixed setup month using a Pearl Flexi and this blade. You're right- shaves 3 to 5 are sweet spot, buttery smooth shaves This blade dulls quickly and the sharpness goes downhill after shave 3.
I've got in to straight razor shaving. I am on the same blade for over 30 shaves now, and someone used it before me probably for a decade or two a hundred years ago They don't make blades like they used to !
If I had to choose only one, then this wouldn’t be a hobby for me. It would be purely about shaving.
Therefore I’d never pay a premium for a razor. I’d probably end up with a Gillette Tech (not the fancy and expensive British ones), or a modern Tech Clone or a Wilkinson Classic. Blade would probably be what can be found easily and cheaply so likely Derby or Astra
My other gear would probably be from Proraso. Soap, brush and aftershave
Above the Tie Windsor with CR1 (copper regular) plate and Gillette Silver Blues. If I were told the Silver Blues had been discontinued I would be equally happy with Nacets. As I alternate between regular and mild plates, the new Above the Tie plate that splits the difference would probably be superb, but until and unless they offer it in copper, I am staying with what I have. The glint of copper just makes me happy.