I'd like to add a comment.
I have been smoking a pipe for over 40 years, with a break of maybe 8-10 years when I focused on cigars.
I started with American aromatics - John Rolfe, Rum & Maple, Borkum Riff. Then I discovered the Dutch blends - Sail and Troost. They weren't drenched in artificial flavors and PG. It opened up a whole new world to me, that eventually led to blends from the British companies - Dunhill, State Express London. (Anyone else remember the rectangular tins with a big panny taped to the bottom to open it?)
Likewise, I started with drugstore pipes, and then moved on. I can't afford expensive hand made pipes, but have a couple of Stans, a Comoy - some of that sort of stuff.
What I learned from all of this is that my enjoyment is heightened by smoking the best pipes and tobacco I can afford. I still appreciate a good cob, and have a couple of old drugstore pipes that were really good smokers. And I have recently learned to appreciate the old codger burleys - Kentucky Club, Prince Al, Granger.
But if you ask for advice, I will tell you what I have learned - and that is, you are better off with one good estate pipe - say, a Stanwell - then you are with three drugstore pipes for the same amount of money.
Likewise, you are better off spending a little more for better grades of tobacco than you are with low-end stuff, whose only selling point is low price.
I joined this forum to share my experience. There's no right or wrong about it - just what I have learned. (I have learned tons from the guys and gals in the Yahoo Pipesmokers 2 group. Joe Harb, Steve Fallon, John Offerdahl - these guys helped me learn about Virginia blends, flakes, and have broadened my enjoyment.)
There's nothing wrong with being knowledgeable - that's a lot different from being a know-it-all.
Pipe smoking is a journey. Enjoy it. But don't be afraid to listen to folks who are farther along the road than you are!