Do you ever go with just the deodorant stick, like me, for going to the gym? NO
Do you believe the deodorant sticks fail at projecting your favorite scent? MOSTLY YES, ENHANCES
Are there any shower gels/washes that you feel are good enough alone? NO, USE THEM TO ENHANCE THE SCENT
Finally, in general, is there a great difference in aftershave's and cologne's potency. DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU MEAN. DO YOU MEAN AFTER SHAVE VS "EAU DE COLOGNE" OR ARE YOU USING "COLOGNE" AS A GENERIC REFERENCE TO ANYTHING MEN'S SCENT THAT ISN'T CLASSIFIED AFTER SHAVE? I USE MOSTLY EdT AND EdP STRENGTH SCENTS.
EAU DE COLOGNE IS SLIGHTLY STRONGER THAN AFTER SHAVE. EAU DE TOILETTE HAS HIGHER CONCENTRATION OF SCENT THAN BOTH. EAU DE PARFUM IS HIGHER CONCENTRATION THAN ALL.