Actually I havent been using the amazon blocks for a while. These blocks have been Brindisi briars from Cigar International. They are also pre-drilled and stemmed kits. They may not be Dunhill grade briar, but they carve well and smoke great.
I might have to check out some of those links. pricing looks fairly good.
I was looking at: http://www.pipemakers.org/PreboredBriarKits.html but I'm not ready to drop $70 into a block which might end up as kindling. Also, I'm not a fan of low tech ordering systems. Some of the sites still run 10 year old ordering forms on their websites.
Starter Level - learning to carve - Great for new carvers. Low risk, low cost, low hassle.
The next level - When I feel ready to move to the next level, then I will move to higher grade briar blocks from more 'traditional' sites.
I'm still at the starter level....