The pear root pipes are usually the ones on ebay that are made in the Ukraine. They generally have a dragon etc carved on them. I also read in a pipe book that pear root was used as well as briar, but obviously briar is the better choice.
Yeah, I saw these too. They have a lot of different styles and the price is cheap. I may get one just to test it out. I have heard bad things about the Chinese pipes, but nothing about the quality (other than the above) of the Ukraine pipes. I can't post a link but there is a Ebay shop called "Fine Ukraine". They have some briar too.