As a young boy with my great grandfather he always loaded his pipes in the three step kind of thing. Thats what I always seen him do. As time went I also remember him just trickling some tobby in--push it down-light the pipe, and move on. I always tried loading pipes the three step way. That was until I had a few "fussy" pipes--they seemed to smoke wetter for some reason. Thanks to the experience of others(thank you to all) I have found that looking at the bowl shapes had alot to do with it. The bowls were more conical in shape. SO--I tried that old just trickle, or dip the pipe in the tobby--push it down without layering--and BINGO--mystery of the fussy pipe solved. I find myself doing this all of the time now--just stuff some tobacco in, tamp it down with the finger, and move on. I guess through many years of just doing the three step thing it just got to be normal for me--I just thought some of my pipes were"fussy". As it turns out as always a man can learn a thing or, two by listening to others. As it turns out those pipes I kinda thought about giving up on just needed loaded up different. After reading some things on this site, listening to guys who had the same issues, and tried loading the pipes differently--well I learned something--it wasn't so much the pipe--it was me. That old saying--its not the arrow--its the indian kinda came to my mind.