Trial and error mostly
Reviews and recommendations aren't always a sure fire way of finding a soap/cream that you'll be 100% pleased with.
Artisan soaps in general are pretty good, but some are much better than others.
P&B soaps get rave reviews from lots of users, but I don't like them - scent or performance wise.
Wickham on the other hand, i could happily use exclusively.
Noble Otter have a good base with interesting scents, but they don't last anywhere near as long as Wickham for instance.
OSP is another good artisan. Good ingredients, very nice scents, and good value for money.
Signature Soaps- @BrianH , you could say, is the new kid on the block.
All natural ingredients, and he cares about his product, and what people want from the product. (THIS DOESN'T MEAN I SUBSCIBE TO THE "STORY BEHIND THE SOAP" BLURB) Rather I appreciate thelat he's a bloke who wants to earn an honest quid.
Long established brands are long established brands for good reason.
Tabac has been mentioned a few times in this thread. This is another soap I could happily use excluding all other soaps.
Again, good ingredients, long lasting and very cost effective. The scent seems to offend some people - i like to think that one day they might change their minds and get the chance to truly appreciate this excellent soap.
Cella & Vitos, although soft soaps are quite long lasting. Cheap as chips and top notch performance.
I never got into 'artisan' shaving soaps, but I tried with an exception of a few things from Signature Soaps, which are my alternatives on the days I get a bit bored of using my daily performers eg Vitos etc.