Husky, I am out of date in terms of exactly what Peterson production looks like these days, which lines are made and what they look like.
But the most expensive series pipes were the Deluxes and Supremes, followed by the various Rosslares (Rosslare Royal Irish having silver mounts I believe) and Harp. At one point the Harps had acrylic stems while the rest of the production was ebonite. I think the Sherlock Holmes series had pretty good stems and briar too. I believe all the pipes are factory fit with acrylic now, but I could be wrong. And I have no idea what the various anniversary and celebration models look like. Just looked at their website, and ... man not much there nowadays.
I shouldn't say this but after several tenths of various Petersons I have owned over the years I have come to conclusion,1 If I were planning on adding a Peterson pipe to my collection right now, it would be either one of those top-quality old estates or one of the current production and again, it'll be from the upper class, I'd keep away from those entry-level ones despite the fact they sure are sturdily made and robust pipes,
It seems like there are two types of Peterson pipes made today, bothare made with a “sump”. It’s the way that sump deals with the collected byproducts that differ. Type A uses a filter, type B uses the system. And herein lies the issue. Not all type A pipes include a mouthpiece that will fit a filter. Not all type B pipes include the full system (only de luxe and only the largest include the stinger).
So, what to do then? Well, either buy a Pete that will take a 9mm filter or buy a larger de luxe if you want the best Pete experience. This is all just according to my opinion, naturally. Were I in your shoes I would save up a bit more to reach a nice de luxe.
@Husky, Supreme and Royal Irish series are supposed to be fairly good pipes, if you can't inspect them in person ask storekeeper to do so for you, I mean drilling and stem fit , also there is this BlakemarBriar manufacturer in England and on my personal experience they make decent pipes, especially their upper line Litchbruyere is wonderful value and them shapes are strict classic English
While it may be generally true that higher grades are better pipes, I have 4 Kinsales which, being Sherlock Holmes shapes, are quite attractive and they're good smokers. Can be had for $105-132 depending on the seller.
If you order from Italy, Castellos are suddenly pretty affordable - a pipe like this is around 200 bucks by the time you knock the taxes off etc (some 22% of list is removed)
anyway not sure what your price point is.
If you are smoking successfully and enjoying it, you may not find much more in ANY pipe, but what you will find is that some makers cut a stem you really like, or have a draw that "feels right" to you, it becomes more of a personalized fulfillment than a realization of some kind of objective ideal.