If you going to use carnauba wax on a rusticated pipe it will leave white residue from the wax in the grooves and the only way to get it out is to heat up the pipe with a heat gun, but then it will leave a mat finish on the pipe. lacquer will seal the wood completly including the gooves. Just don't try to lead it up in one application... thin coats work better.
Also, what I have done on the laquered pipes is sand off the top of the pipe where you lite it and finished it off with carauba wax. My thought on that is when you light the pipe, laquer won't start burning and give off unpleasant taste and smell... Not sure if thats true or not, but that my thought... many large pipe manufacturers use laquer on all their production pipes and you don't hear much complaining about it.