I don't own a meerschaum lined briar pipe, but I do have multiple meerschaum pipes and they're great. You can find nice meerschaum lined briar pipes that smoke well, but I suggest if you're want a meerschaum pipe then just by a true meerschaum pipe. They provide a great smoke every time. It's hard to beat a nice meerschaum pipe.
I've owned a couple over the years. No pluses or minuses as I recall. They smoked decently and the bowl needs only a wipe after use. A tough briar exterior is certainly less prone to nicks or other damage than a meer.
Not sure ... I am not a big fan of meerschaum, but if I would buy one I would go with the real mccoy. I own a meer myself, but it's not a full block, it's made from pressed bits and pieces, and honestly I don't like the way it smokes. If what you are looking at is also pressed meer, I wouldn't buy it ... but then again I am not an authority on the subject. On the up side, I think it a meer lined bowl may be a balanced weight in between a briar and a full meer, which may be attractive to some smokers. I am sure you will get good answers from the meerschaum gurus around here.
I own two, a briar with a meerschaum liner, and a medico that is briar, covered in leather, with a meerschaum bowl. There's really no pros or cons in my book, they smoke decent. I'd just get a pure meerschaum pipe unless there was a reason for the hybrid. Meers are tougher than they look, I use a couple in the shop all the time.
MeerQueen and Baki are excellent choices. Sadik Yanik makes great ornate pipes, but they're quite expensive. Baki is your best bet for smooths and classic shapes (and variants on them) and his reputation is as pure as his meerschaum. A good block meerschaum (and you'll be hard-pressed, pun not intended, to find many pressed meerschaums on the market) will not be inexpensive, but the smoking quality will be tops. The most common pressed/chip meerschaums still made are mini pipes... and meer-lined briars, which rarely use block.
If you want a really showy, artistic armchair pipe, don't hesitate to buy Yanik. If you want the kind of art you'd feel comfortable smoking out-and-about, buy MeerQueen or Baki. You won't go wrong with any of them, I don't think. In my opinion, all are reasonable price-wise considering the mining of top-quality stone and the hand-work that goes into the pipe , with a custom came (no pipe will fit any other case and vice-versa).
Here's one of my favorite Bakis (I don't own this, unfortunately) after some smoking:
Here's my Yanik hatching dragon claw (the yellow color is from the use of unbleached beeswax)
CAO is no longer in the pipe business, but yes, their meerschaums are excellent. Carving can be a bit wonky at times, i've seen some fugly CAOs, but the meerschaum quality is good.
Ismet Bekler is a now-gone carver who was imported first by Royal (his pipes carved for them came with a tag stating they were by Bekler), then from 1974-1978 for Golden Horn (this is when he began signing his pipes), and from 1978 on for CAO (something like, I'd guess, 99.99999999999% of CAO Beklers are signed). CAO bought the top 10% of meerschaum quality-wise, re-graded it and gave the top 10% of that to Bekler. For Royal and Goden Horn, and in his early days at CAO, Bekler was a master at abstract pipes; nobody else ever carved these like he did, and his for Golden Horn were appropriately termed "Beyond Imagination." His later CAO work was in smooths, surface-relief designs, and occasional lions, sultans, fish, etc.
If one wants a Bekler, and is okay with his later work, go to Rich's Cigars in downtown Portland, Oregon. They bought out much of CAO's old stock, and have several hundred available. They bought half the stick, and Iwan Ries of Chicago bought the other half, but I don't know how many Iwan Ries still has. These do not have the brass CAO stem dot, and are in rectangular velour-covered chests with a facsimilie of his signature on top. They're usually in the $200-350 range, and will be absolutely worth the price. If, at Rich's, you don't see a type you like, ask them, and they may have something in their backstock (they have MANY more Beklers in the storeroom than are on display).
I know there was a big kerfuffle over Storient, but I don't know enough to suggest endorsement or not (I'm not sure they're even going under the Storient name?)
IMP, Meerschaum Market, Altinay, Altinok, Baki, Meerschaum Market, Paykoc, yes!
Yanik has himself some dedicated haters, who've posted some truly nasty stuff on forums and message boards. Claims of eBay account-hopping, selling pipes that shatter when smoked or have obviously been carved by apprentices, wind-caps roughly glued on, stems cut poorly, terrible draw, open rudeness at questions asked, and all manner of other horrors. I can only speak to personal experience, but I bought that dragon pipe, which was quite expensive, and communicated with him extensively. He was very businesslike, bordering on curt (he may already be annoyed over the flak he's caught) but he answered all my questions, sent me photos of examples for choosing case, lining and stem colors, and reassured me with buying via bank transfer (PayPal has completely left Turkey). Yanik's eBay sales with PayPal are handled through an external person, and have no fear about buying from his catalog or from his eBay account.
SMS also sells good pipes. Their carver Erdogan Ege, like most mastercarvers, has a specialty-- his is jovial, bearded men, and in my opinion, you won't find a better Viking or Bacchus! Bacchus is a subject I think frequently ends up looking terrifying, and the one I have is the best Turkish Bacchus I have ever seen. Stone is high-quality, draw is good.
Pardon my typo. Bought half the STOCK. When CAO ceased producing pipes, Rich's and Iwan Ries each bought half of the perhaps hundreds of NOS Bekler pipes. Most of these are bulldogs, billards, and other classic shapes (Bekler was a real master at smooth finishes) and pots, bents, pokers and setters with ornate surface carving, sometimes with an animal atop the shank. I've also never seen any others use the beautiful acrylic he used, golden amber with dark flecks.
The most amazing meer prices I've seen is when IMP briefly went out of production in 2015 and SPC bought hundreds of them, and sold very large pipes with Sterling accents for under $150. I grabbed this one for $135, and wished I had bought many more.