I just noticed this thread and haven't read it all but I'll toss in my $0.02
I started out using Mach 3's and eventually went the way of electric foil shavers. Over the years, I've tried many but mostly Braun and Panasonics.
Braun makes the best self cleaning shavers on the market. PERIOD. However, they have a fatal flaw. You can not clean them yourself since NONE of them are waterproof.
I've had 2 Panasonic cleaning units and neither worked to my satisfaction. However, Panasonic's upper middle models are some of the best electric shavers I've used. The model I use (twice a week these days
) is an ARC4+ and I generally like it. It charges fast, runs smooth and quiet and seems to generally do a good job.
I actually like an older 3 foil Panasonic model I have that is older better but it's kinda falling apart after having it for almost 8 years. The older one has a nice die cast metal body with some plastic. It just has a nice heft and quality feel to it. It was also one of the last of their shavers to use NiMH cells and the inductive charging base.
Most if not all of Panasonic's shavers are fully waterproof which makes cleaning them really easy. I usually clean, lubricate and recharge my shavers when I notice the battery is getting low.
Oh, and most electric shaver manuals seem to recommend replacing the blades and foils once a year which depending on the model might mean that just replacing the entire shaver would be less expensive. I don't know about Braun but Panasonic seems to like reusing blade specs from one year to the next to some degree so I was able to put the latest shaver blade tech on my 3 year old model.