i'm in the same boat. (you're boat is a little ahead of mine.) i waisted some of my time on aromatics and then wasted some more time puffing my pipe too hard so that all i got out of anything not overtly sweet was harsh and ashy. anyway, BoB members straightened me right out and now i'm loving escudo and some of the gl blends. so i've got some catching up to do, but i feel like i grasp the flavors of the different ingredients now, and as you said, it's a terrific hobby and a life long pursuit and i've certainly made many friends here on the BoB. the only bummer is we can't all sit in somebody's garage and all smoke together!