I concur with those that have said Aldo Velani. I have a superb 21st century model, flawless piece of briar, smokes like a champ and looks good too. I only have one BC, it is a very small hanger, but a good smoker. Great little pocket pipe. I think Mastersons are also great pipes, Israel made. Always nice grain and interesting shapes. I have an Oom Paul.
Ooh, yes. Love bjarne. I bought my friend a Bj viking last week to lure him into the hobby. That, 4 oz of various baccy, pipe cleaners and a czech tool.
If we are going to grow this sport, we cant be stingy.
I'm obviously biased by being a cheap old sod at heart but I really second the nomination of the handmade Kaywoodies. You just can't find a cheaper pipe out there. They are often abused and found living in an island-of-misfit-toys style boxed lots or junk pipe piles. Will they make you swear you just saw a unicorn after you smoke a bowl? Probably not. But I personally believe most are just lumped into the junk pile so deep that even when pulled and smoked they rarely get the full love and attention of a real refurb job because they just don't command the presence the fancied names do.
Spend a few bucks and grab one. Clean her up and it will be functional. But if one removes the drugstore stigma and really pick one. Then spend the time or money and have it really gone through and it will be right there next to todays 100 dollar tagged rivals.
Sorta got off on a kaywoodie propaganda rant. My appologies. as always -Jmho
The following estate pipes are often under-rated, although the pieces I have smoke very well. I can recommend the following names, mist of which I've smoked at one time or other.
Comoy's Grand Slam
Comoy's Old Bruyere
Comoy seconds (I have smoked a number of these): Ace of spades, Astor, Ayres, Britannia, Carlyle, Charles Cross, Claridge, Cromwell, Dorchester, Dunbar, Drury Lane, Emerson, Everyman, Grand Master, Gresham, Guildhall, Kingsway, Lion's Head, Lord Clive, Hyde Park, Lloyds, Mc Gahey, Moorgate, Newcastle, Royal Falcon, Royal Lane, Scotland Yard, St James, Sunrise, Sussex, The Academy Award, The Golden Arrow, The Mansion House, The Exmoor Pipe, Tinder Box Royal Coachman, Townhall, Trident, Westminster, Wilshire.
+1 Astley and Edwards from Kas and others.
I'd also like to mention Parker, supposed Dunhill seconds. I bought a Parker back in the 1990s, and it has just gotten better and better.
Tracy Mincer pot that I think is from the 1950s when they were selling for around $5. It was given to me by a colleague.