And now: by request, sort of. I rarely strop in the conventional sense anymore, and certainly don't change grits when I do. However, I have a set of Wicked Edge paddles set up with key grits of diamond paste. The paddles have balsa wood surfaces, so that issues of flexing and of the contribution of the surface substrate are minimized - you really (better) get just the effect of the paste being used. Without further ado, then:
Slysz Bowie, edge sharpened with 400 grit paste.
Slysz Bowie, edge after 100 grit diamond stone.
Note the differences, which are quite apparent. I didn't bother with other magnifications, but in general, at the same grit, a paste seems to produce a more cohesive, smoother, silkier edge than a diamond stone. The difference becomes quite apparent if you run a standard progression. With that said: I have not been able to get good results with just paste. I have tried a couple times, running a progression of 400 - 800 - 2,000 - 4,000 - 8,000 - 14,000 - 50,000 - 100,000 - 200,000 grit paste. The edge comes out very much covered with scratches, as though there were extensive contaminants in the paste, but I know that's not the case. There's no good way to concentrate on a small area of the blade with the paste to remove those scratches like I can with a stone or DLF.
Slysz Bowie, edge after a progression going down to a 6μ particle size. The mirror is starting to form; there are some scratches in the surface. I've found that it's best to address those scratches now rather than continuing with the progression (in this case, 3μ - 1μ - 200,000 paste) and hoping the scratches are removed by later steps. I'll work back and forth between a 9μ and 6μ paddle, getting those scratches removed, and then finish off with 10-15 strokes per side with the 6μ to make sure I have a nice, cohesive surface with similar polish all over.
Using DLF, I can take any blade from a standard edge to a mirror edge in about 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Using stones, the best I've done is 8 - 9 hours, and the worst I've done was something like 24 hours of dedicated sharpening on one blade to get it where I wanted using stones. The problem seems to be imperfections in the stones, or perhaps it's just a fact of life with stones. My theory is that as the stone gets used more, diamonds loosen up, and become "wobbly" in the substrate, causing more and more scratching of the surface. It ends up, at times, as a tail-chasing exercise when I try to remove all the scratches in the surface of the blade.