Surprisingly complete article, and I can speak about it from personal experience. I had suffered 20+ years from serious razor burn and razor bumps - combined with the thick, dense black beard hair of Italian heritage. Not a pretty sight, and the worst part was that by 5 o’clock the shadow made it look like you’d run a grease pencil over your neck and cheeks.
Laser was the answer - like Cecil mentioned, it’s a painful, long, expensive process but at the very least it works! And yes, the ‘feedback mechanism’ is essentially the patient crying uncle. Not for the pain-averse, even with topical anesthetic to take the edge off.
However, after many, many treatments (think 2 dozen and up), the hair regrowth is down to about 1-2% of what it was, plus a little peach fuzz that you can shave off with a Bic disposable once a month. Absolute heaven - the time spent under the laser is easily ‘paid back’ with the time saved not shaving. As an added bonus, you end up looking at least 10 years younger.
Finally, according to the F-to-M Transsexuals I’ve chatted with (used to live in SF), the method of removing manly stubble was similar to what Cecil described. Apparently the hormone treatments allowed a lot of the finer body hair to regress, while a combination of laser treatments followed by electrolysis was used for the face, especially the upper lip.