I live in Riga, Latvia, and make pipes since 2011. I've made about 280 pipe seven years. For my pipes I use only MIMMO briar: Romeo MIMMO is really the best briar supplier. His briar is always well cooked, dry, and very-very tasty. For stems I use German ebonite or rarely acrylic.
I am sure the most important thing in a pipe is the engineering. From this side my pipes are always absolutely perfect:
1. Accurate drilling
2. Wide and deep V-slot in the stem
3. Sanded shank bore and polished stem bore
4. No space under the tenon in the mortise
5. A pipe cleaner is well passed through into the bowl
Usually my pipes cost 300-500 euros. Price depends firstly on pipe finish: smooth pipes cost more than sandblasted, straightgrain more than crossgrain.