I do have a couple of favorite shapes, straight Billiard and 1/8 bent Brandy. I am a believer that shape affects taste to some degree, and these 2 shapes seem to smoke all blends and. Uts well. The middle ground, if you will. I also find the Brandy shape beautiful. Classic, but with style!
Favorite pipes are my MM cobs. Country Gentleman bent, both in natural finish as well as plaster ones. The bits just fit my teeth perfectly. The weight is nice and light. And the bowl size is perfect! My cobs get 95% of my smoking. I just love them and constantly reach for them over my briar and pear woods.
- Billiard (bent and straight as well) and its variations like Canadian/Lovat/Liverpool/Lumberman
It is usually depending on my mood, I change my preferation from day to day but mostly these are the shapes I choose to buy - and smoke. Sometimes I want to buy a nice bulldog, but I always remind myself that it is not the most comfortable for my hand. I have big hands, long fingers and more curvy pipes with bigger "heads" are better to hold. Edgy pipes are somehow not comfortable for me.
The finish doesn't matter, I like smooth, rusticated and sandblast as well. Same with the colour (pipe and stem), it can be green, brown, light or dark, black, etc.
I have pipes that are favorites because they are beautiful and carry a high price; I have pipes that are favorite because they look good and smoke well but cost little; and I have pipes that fit neither category that are favorites because they were gifts, are unique in some way, or are striking to look at, and others because they are long faithful servants.