So, I couldn't rely on anyone else to get me pipes, so this is what I got for myself over the weekend:
First a nice straight grain (on one side) Peretti pipe. This was the most expensive one at $120, but I figure hey, you only live once, and since I am in Peretti's all the time, that's what I can smoke when I am there. Then of course a Uncle Arthur Zulu, which surpsingly came with a cool little tamper that has a floating ring thing on it, very nice! Finally a Baronet Bruyere "121 EX", not even sure if it is a good pipe, but I liked the look and feel of it so for $80 I gave it a shot.
Overall I'm pretty happy, the Baronet has some stubborn oxidation on it which seems to come and go randomly, the peretti has a slight slight flaw on the inside of the bowl, I am a little bit worried it will get worse and lead to a crack with heating and cooling, but it so small and I doubt I will ever be able to pack that thing full all the time I don't think it will be an issue, and I don't want to be that guy who complains about every little flaw, woodworking isn't perfect, plus the grain on that one side is beautiful.
I still have some pipes on my watch list on ebay that I am hoping to nab.
Also, is it a coincidence that the UA Zulu fits 1 Peterson Flake perfectly? My first time, and man is that some awesome tobacco but I had to take a 30 minute break half way through, I wish they had something that tasted the same with a few less "vitamins".
I am now on the look out for an oversized zulu, maybe something with thicker walls and only a slightly larger bowl. I love this one for small powerful smokes, but I love the shape so much I'd love something a bit bigger for my normal smokes.
I'm also starting to appreciate the difference of the same tobacco in a small pipe and a large pipe. It's interesting and will give me a good reason to make sure I rotate all my tobacco in all my pipes to see what tastes the best in what.