Since good briar seems harder and harder to find these days, I figured I'd try one of the alternatives coming on the market, especially from eastern Europe.
So, with no great expectations, I ordered (for $18!) an oak pipe made by B&B of Poland (the model I got is the 105D, a bent pot.)
To my great surprise, it's a great smoking pipe - easy draw (despite the filter so common in European pipes), even burn, and great taste. Of course, I'm very wary of burnout, but, so far, so good. You can see these listed on Ebay.