Value is relative to a great many things. There are some flakes for which I've simply found no viable substitute. If I knew of a bulk ribbon that tasted like Irish Flake that I could afford to smoke all day every day, I'd be all over it in a heartbeat, but I haven't found it. I do seem to get more out of certain types of "flakes" than others. C&D "flakes" (cut crumble cake essentially) seem to last me longer than more compact and uniform presentations.
I find that flake to be an excellent value.
In most of my pipes I use about 3/4 to 1 flake when rubbing out and they seem to last longer than a ribbon cut bowl full.
Some of my favorite tobaccos are only in flake form so even though flake is a bit more work at times I will always be a fan of it.
I think you meant rope tobacco for that purpose. I like doing that with robe and a Very sharp knife or cleaver. It didn't seem to smoke so well but it was still fun to slice them and stack them in the pipe. You need a bit of 'kindling' to get it going properly.