Over the past 4 years I've used a $200 Braun self-cleaning foil, an $80 Norelco rotary, a $20 Braun PocketGo foil shaver, and a $10 generic. I used a few before that, but I don't recall what the brands were. None particularly stood out as "The One."
1. For a really close shave, he'll still have to use a regular razor. Electrics are for daily public maintenance, not for a totally stubble-free face.
2. Electric razors themselves are consumables. They will last for two or three years, and that's all. If the motor doesn't break, the battery will die, or they'll stop making replacement foils, or it will short, or something. This is definitely not the last razor that he will ever buy, just one to get him through the next two years or so.
3. Avoid the fancy extras. Self-cleaning setups use up expensive fluid (and need to be cleaned anyway). Rechargeable batteries die and are irreplaceable. Basically, everything extra that is on there is either there to charge you more money or make it break faster. Ideally, you'd want a basic electric that plugs into a wall, or uses AA batteries (they last longer than you'd think, and don't die like a built-in rechargeable battery).
4. Rotary trimmers are better for neck hair, whereas foils are faster. They both seem about equally long in my book.
5. Once you get into the $50 range, all modern razors do about the same level of nifty flex stuff to help conform to face contortions. They're all about equally bad at it, though rotary trimmers seem to be a little bit better.
6. Replacing a $50 razor every 6 months will get you closer shaves than replacing a $200 razor every 2 years. In the grand scheme of things, $20 electric razors work just fine, though slower than the 50 dollar or 200 dollar range ones. Also, leaving a $20 battery-powered razor at work or in the car can be a lifesaver.