Pipe sipping and an opaque cloud is the end - maybe add a smoke ring for a flourish. I LOVE the sip and opaque cloud. Here is a picture of sip cloud; I took it for March Meer Madness and the sip cloud was incidental, not the reason for the picture. I just get a lot of sip clouds anymore. Along with sip clouds I have noticed you get a few fringes - like longer, cooler burning pipes. I have often read that you need to be sipping a pipe and this sounded to me like sipping was thee goal. Lately it occured to me that good sipping is merely a by-product of a pipe well filled. "Well filled" (not packed) takes into account some certainty regarding: the preferred moisture level of the subject tobacco; the amount of expansion you can expect from the subject tobacco; how easily the subject tobacco compresses or, more aptly, overcompresses; and how heavy a tamp is too heavy. Certain knowledge of only these four things (as applied to only one tobacco blend) covers a lot of ground for a novice. Complicate the acquisition of this knowledge by adding more tobacco blends smoked in some combination of not one, but many, pipes each with its own peculiar characteristics. The reliable sip cloud does not give itself up willingly. Jumping around to different pipes and tobaccos distances the sip cloud. Lacking concentration or imagination as to what is happening inside the chamber when fire hits the tobacco delays arrival at Sipville Station. Or simply lacking a sip cloud expectation may place the sip cloud in a location irrelevant to your direction of travel - you might hit it by accident one day, or not. The sip cloud, though, is not an object of pipe smoking but merely a byproduct of something else. Like being happy in life, happiness for its own sake is the goal of a fool - happiness is a byproduct of a life well lived. I'd be the first to say you will smoke far cooler and get substantially more flavor from a pipe that produces opaque clouds of smoke from short sips. But sipping a pipe doesn't make it happen - you need to know the pipe, the tobacco and the good fill. The sip, and perhaps a glimpse of nirvana, will follow in due course.