I've been straight shaving for about 1.5 years now and have mostly shaved with JNat finishes (honed by others) after my initial shaves on synthetic hones (as was recommended to get acclimated to straights). After recently starting to hone myself, among my newly purchased arsenal is a Suehiro Gokumyo (aka Guacamole ) 20K stone. It was recommended I start off with synthetics before moving on to natural stones. I was really on the fence about buying it due to its demanding price, but that's behind me now after playing around with this thing! Yesterday I finished off with quite a few additional super-light polishing strokes, which basically put my edge on another level. When I do move to natural stone finishes, would I finish after the 20K, or simply replace it altogether in the progression? I hope such an expensive stone won't ultimately become redundant if a slurry might do a better job in its place, if not used to further refine the finish after it. My shaving technique has definitely improved since I last shaved with synthetic finishes, but I have to say this thing has changed my impressions a lot! I don't think I can even begin to recommend stones, but I certainly agree with some of the previous posts on the smooth, keen edges it provides me. Nice to post in this forum, BTW!