Never really gave much thought to what would by considered as Myth #1 (if they were in order as to priority?). Perhaps that a new pipe should be broken in by first only smoking half bowls, or rubbing some honey on the inside of the bowl (God forbid!!)
I think it's hard to get to the end of a session of pipe smoking whitout three or four relights. Sometimes the tobacco remaining at the botton of the bowl becomes wet and not so tasteful. However, it doesn't bother how fine was the ash rather than how pleasant was the smoking.
I've only smoked down to ash on a few occasions, but never with one light. I think the best I've ever done is 2 matches for 1 bowl and that was pure luck. A feet to never again be repeated. LOL
Having someone say it smokes to a fine white ash and only took 1 light tells me nothing about the tobacco itself, so I disregard that crap all together. I want to know about flavor profiles, if it's overly moist etc. I couldn't care less how many lights someone else used.
It depends on the tobacco. Finer cuts are easier to get what you want. Also on the width of the pipe. Wider bowls don't do it. Have I gotten a fine white ash? Rarely, but I seem to remember it a few times.
This thread is absolutely a must read for all newbies! I have been off and on with a pipe for 2 years, but I can look back and say honestly reading such talk from so many members early on would have saved my tongue from probably nearly falling off.
I saw this trope mentioned in a Faulkner book about his smoking. I think it's more rhetoric/imagery than reality.
On the other hand, I have had bowls smoke down to this. Recently, I rubbed out some 1792 and let it dry, then torched about a half-bowl of it. At the end, it was greyish but mostly white ash which fell out and disappeared in a cloud.
I kind of assume "the bottom of the bowl," is not the absolute bottom; but instead just before the airway. There are times where I get to the "bottom" but there's usually an insignificant amount leftover. One light is fine for some tobaccos, but...as I have been learning there are some a second/third light is actually beneficial. Can change the whole experience for me. I'd prefer not to go to the bottom as others have said. Ash doesn't smoke well and no point to get there. Lighting again, as long as you're not just throwing a torch to it shouldn't be a big deal.