I have the aesop bowl too and you're spot on with your description of it. It's my travelling bowl now but I have several ceramic bowls that I use, including captain choice regular and large... both very good.I have a Aesop bowl, which is merely a small Sori Yanagi bowl. Stainless Steel. It's smooth but the metal has very fine lines in the finish that make working up lather very easy. I also have a ceramic bowl that is completely smooth inside. No swirls in the bottom that people insist are necessary. I can whip up an amazing lather in the exact same amount of time in that bowl as any other bowl I have with the swirls or texture. Ultimately it's the whipping action of the brush that makes it all happen. That said I would love a Captain's Choice lather bowl in the thick heavy weight copper. It's a nice looking bowl and as others have said, won't break when you drop it. But I think those who claim that texture makes a demonstrable difference are merely trying to justify the purchase of another bowl. Nothing wrong with that. After all, we are Shaving Enablers.