I loved this post and I'm so glad you found your own winning combination.
I guess we must be brothers from a different mother because I am cursed with the same beard. It literally shreds new bed sheets and pillow cases within 2-3 weeks unless they are percale weave cotton, or 100% linen. I also can't wear wool sweaters which are half-turtle or full turtle neck because they are destroyed with one wearing.
Depending on the brand of blade, I may have to switch to a fresh blade half way through shaving with a DE. With a shavette, I need to change blades up to four times during a single shave. Feather and Astra SP will last me one entire shave but, even with those, on the last few strokes the blade edges are compromised.
My beard map is asymmetrical and complex. On the right side, the entire jaw line grows diagonally upward from bottom of ear lobe to nose, the cheek hair above the diagonal growth grows from top to bottom, and the neck under it grows up from throat to chin. On the left side, the jaw line grows sideways from ear to mouth, with the cheek hair above the diagonal growth itself growing diagonally downward from eye to ear lobe, and the neck hair growing sideways from throat to ear. In the deep groove between my bottom lip and chin, there is no sebum - only tightly packed, exposed hair roots. It is a very dangerous and difficult area to shave.
As you can imagine, any long stroke that I make (for example from top of ear down to bottom of throat) will traverse three different growth directions. For this reason, I need to make lots of short strokes and shave in what appears to be a very disorganised manner. Even with the short strokes, on a one-day growth, my R41 open comb clogs with every few strokes and I need to keep burning hot water running constantly to melt the stuff out between every pass. Rocca is a bit easier in this regard
I also have enough money that I can buy and try whatever I want without worry, but I don't like to accumulate extra of anything due to space constraints (buy a bigger house, get more stuff, repeat). I currently have five Stirling soaps and I think they are pretty OK, but when I bought a tub of A&E Pamplemousse with K2E formula I immediately noticed that it is next-level face-friendly compared to Stirling. There was simply no question. Today I ordered a Merkur Futur to see how that will fare against my sandpaper face. Should be here tomorrow, so let's see.
Wow, dude that beard sounds incredible. My beard doesn't actually break things other than my wife's face if I've not shaved in a couple of days. I mostly shave every other day actually now but will and can do it every day if I need to with the method from my original post. Have you tried the Konsul? I really really would give it a go, having tried what I think are if not all then 99% of the slants out there. The Konsul is just in a league of its own. I am not a Rex salesman I promise but that, plus Trumpers Skin food, bye bye beard. In a way it's a bit sad now, I feel like there's nothing else for me to try. For my wife though she is very relieved, no grumpy Ed covered in blood and no more enormous packages of shaving soaps, creams, brushes, mugs and other gubbins clogging up our house