I know it isn't ideal the way I went about this, but I just had to get started. I am too talented at putting stuff off, so I decided to not let this one slip. I bought a decent straight-razor to learn with. The reviews rated it ok, so I figured I would get the hang of it, then wait until Christmas or my Birthday to get some of the other stuff (Karate takes most of my funds).
I would ideally like to have a straight-razor that I would need to hone and strop, but the one I purchased uses replacement blades. After having used it (still better than cartridges) I have decided not to skimp on the rest of the supplies... ever.
All in all the shave was nice. The nicks and cuts were worth it, and I am sure that those things will go away when I improve my skill with the straight-razor.
All in all a manly experience.