So I've been smoking a pair of Missouri Meerschaum corncobs for a few months now and have tried a few different tobaccos through them. After a week or so I figured out how to pack the bowl and smoke properly, and was enjoying it alright. But something was always a bit off, especially more than halfway through the bowl. I always got a sort of rancid, sour, corny taste. I wasn't sure if it was the pipe, the tobacco, or if smoking a pipe just tasted like that. I was almost thinking maybe pipe smoking wasn't for me. I still wondered what a proper briar pipe would be like, but couldn't really imagine how it would be that much better. I kept reading about how corncobs were so dry and pure, how they let the tobacco flavours through. I walked into a little tobacco store in a town I never visit today and wasn't impressed with their selection. But a Vauen (a name I'd never heard of until today) kind of spoke to me. It was $56 and I figured it was kind of a second rate pipe maybe marked up a bit in this little hole in the wall I was in. I ended up getting it because I had been wanting a briar pipe now for nearly as long as I have been smoking a pipe. I also got a new tobacco. I filled this pipe up halfway (before reading on Vauen's site that no break-in was necessary) and started to smoke. WOW. A completely different experience. The smoke was so rich, thick, flavourful, delicious. I actually started giggling. Yes, out loud. A grown man giggling for seemingly no reason while smoking his pipe. I figured it was probably the tobacco and that the pipe just happened to be there for the first smoke. I tried the tobacco out of one of my cobs and no, it was messed up. It was different than the other tobaccos I had smoked but bad in the same way; sour and corny. I got home and tried looking the pipe up. It only says 92 on the bottom (other than Vauen) and the guy at the store had no clue about it. I finally found it on a couple random pipe shop sites and figure it's the Prince model, which I guess is discontinued since it is not anywhere on the current Vauen site. The biggest bonus was that it ranges online in price from $100-$130. I guess I got a good deal at $56! My guess is that it's been sitting in that hole in the wall tobacco shop for 8 years and they just never adjusted the price for inflation or what have you. Anyhow, I am completely taken by pipe smoking now and can't wait to expand my collection. The thought of smoking those cobs between Prince days is not a pleasant one. I just took a picture of the pipe. If anyone has any ideas on why I got is so cheap, let me know.