I finally got it. I've been debating on what kind of water stones to get for a while now and the ones that really got my attention was the Shapton water stones. They have a glass backed version and a Professional version. I went ahead and bought the Amazon M5 12,000 grit version thanks to a credit line increase on one of my credit cards:
The Norton 8K is not enough to effectively remove my beard anymore. Even if I did 2 or more sessions which is what I'm doing now along with stropping between each one, it's still not enough. So this 12K stone and a .5 pasted strop is more than enough to finish a razor on.