@Prozac, in case you haven't already discovered them, here are a few resources you might want to check out to help you climb the pipe-smoking learning curve. Reading and watching videos about pipe smoking is part of the fun of the hobby—although it does tend to stoke your PAD (pipe acquisition disorder)!
1)On PUFF.com, check out Pipe Smoking Tips for Cigar People
. Despite the title, it isn't just for cigar smokers. There is a ton of good information here from your pals on the pipe threads.
2)YouTube, has a ton of great pipe videos on every topic. Just search for "packing a tobacco pipe," "meerschaum pipes," etc.
YouTube presenter MuttnChop Piper is a perennial favorite. His "Just the Basics" is a good place to start but he has many more "how to" videos.
Bradley at StuffnThings
is great for tobacco reviews.
I also happen to enjoy Mike Gluker of Briar Blues
have a ton of well-written essays and blog posts about pipe smoking. SP also has YouTube videos on pipe basics, tobacco reviews and other interesting pipe stuff.
4)For information on tobacco blends, Tobaccoreviews.com
is the bible. That's where you can find out, for example, whether a particular tobacco has a high nicotine content.
For information about pipe brands, Pipedia.org
is ... encyclopedic.
If you want to identify a pipe from its markings, or determine the date of manufacture, Pipephil.eu
the place to start.
Good luck on your pipe-smoking voyage. Great to have you on the forum.