I agree with Pete 100% about opening a can of worms when asking for sharpening methods. We all have our ways. And he's right about buying old irons and practicing on those and then you need to practice and practice. I just wasn't good at it so I bought into one of those very expensive systems that sharpens everything except circular blades. I know it's very expensive, but how bad do you want scary sharp?
When I was working, I stopped spending $ on coffee breaks and brown bagged my lunches. I was a truck driver so bag lunches meant sandwiches and salads, but I saved my $ ($7 per day), learned to be patient, ate healthier, and bought a Tormek T7. With the jigs etc., I spent some serious cash but now my chisels are sharp, my turning skews are sharp, carving knives, kitchen knives, and much more. I sharpen things for family friends and neighbors. A lot of folks that have invested in the Tormek are now earning good cash as professional sharpeners. I just wanted all my tools to be scary sharp and as expensive as my system was, I'm glad I own it. When you can curl the end grain off your chisel, you can do some serious wood working. I don't expect many pats on the back for my post - it's just the way I achieved scary sharp because I'm a dummy when it comes to sharpening.
Its' never hot or cold in New Hampshire... its' always seasonal.