As a counterpoint, I'm a long-time fan of MM cobs. Any corny taste (which I admit I don't notice) is gone after a smoke or three. They're light weight, easy to keep lit, and just generally user friendly. I like the Dagner and Charles Towne version for the acrylic stems, and I have supplied my regular cobs with Forever acrylic stems, just to save replacing stems I'd otherwise chew up. For me, MM cobs are permanent pipes and easy smokers. Love 'em.
The Cob is a wonderful smoking pipe. Some things to note about "break in" I guess we'll call it since there isn't much of one to these pipes and a simple fact or two.
1. Varnished "shinny" cobs some times need a piece of sandpaper run on the inside of bowl to rid the funky taste. It can be smoked out with a few smokes.
2. This is an opinion but one shared by many cobbers.
Cobs with a "natural" or "neked"(as per Aristocob) finish smoke cooler and let the tobacco speak to you.
3. Nobody has cussed a blue streak if something happened to their $5-$10 cob. A $150 Peterson on the other hand...
4. I'm a Missouri Meerschaum man through and through. My favorite pipes period but if you like nostalgia then do yourself a favor and get an Old Dominion cob. Nice smokers and they are made with a reed instead of a plastic mouth piece. Makes you feel a little like you're smokin with Mark Twain.
5. Cob snobs and briars snobs both miss out on smoking some good pipes. I smoke cobs 90% of the time but I do love my briars.
I have one cob. Ilt has definitely grown in me. It took me about 8-10 smokes to break in. It still gives a favor to the tobacco but so does briar, and the flavor of chared cob goes really well with the flavor of straight tobacco.
Cobs are great, I probably smoke them about 80% of the time, and have made a bunch of them myself from corn I dried at home. They are especially great for OTC type burley blends and also good for the goopier aromatics as they are so absorbent.