[i decided to start a new thread instead of posting this in the "I got my POY thread" cause...well you'll see...] So I got my POY on Friday and was excited. I ran (like a little kid on Christmas morning) to my garage and tore into the shipping box. The Kaywoodie box was impressive and I was stoked. Opened the box and saw the brown velvet bag and my excitement grew! Then out came my pipe; saw the stem first and almost couldn't contain my excitement. Then came the pipe... I wouldn't say I was disappointed, but I was slightly let down. It was my own personal over-excitement but I was really hoping (and very selfishly, I might add) that I would get lucky and get one of the more exciting grain patterns. I didn't. Mine was still very attractive, but not as dramatic as I hoped it would be. Never the less, when it was time to start smoking I loaded about a 1/3 bowl of some PA and had my first go. I got a little too excited and overheated the pipe. It was my fault but the carbon lining came out in a few spots. Decided to let it rest a bit and try again later. Loaded some Squadron Leader later that evening and tried again. Couldn't help but think something was wrong. I tried to go very slow and let the pipe decide the pace. I found the tobacco tasted like ash and I was constantly having to re-light. Additionally, the moment the lighter came near the pipe, the bowl would become fire hot. I couldn't figure it out. So it rested for a few days while I re-grouped. Earlier tonight I loaded a full bowl of my favorite, Frog Morton On the Town. Took over an hour to smoke but it was nothing but pure bliss from start to finish!! I don't know what changed; maybe the conditions were different, maybe my pipe was now broken in, maybe my over-inflated expectations were brought back to a realistic level. Either way I was growing to like this pipe. Smoked the bowl all the way to the bottom, cleaned it out and loaded the last of my Squadron Leader. Once again, pure bliss! All this to say, I was very disappointed at first but thankfully, I reserved my judgement until I had given it a chance. In the end, I'm very glad I did. I'm really enjoying this pipe and am very glad I got in on it! My last bowl of SL is almost gone, reduced to nothing but ash, but I'm content with that.