After reading this and getting some advice from Pete in another thread to look into Couesnons , I took the plunge and bought a Couesnon from the "pig in a poke" on line store. I want something to learn to play on that I can be proud of. I truly belive that if I have an instrument that I really like,it will induce me to practice more. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of this guy. It is truly going to be a pig in a poke too. The photos in the posting were not very clear and I couldn't see much of the markings, so I guess that I'll just have to wait and............................................................. This is just too much for me to believe. As I was writing this last line, my wife came in form the front porch and said, "You have a package here. Didn't you hear the doorbell? It is my Couesnon! It is a monopole, or at least I can barely make out that word on the tiny, tiny, tiny writing. The bell and barrel appear to be plastic or hard rubber, and the barrel is lined with a metal sleeve. The two body sections are wood. The posting said that they may be rosewood, but I don't know enough about instrument woods to tell what kind it is. No chips or cracks. All the keys work. The pads and corks are history, and there is no mouthpiece. I paid $75.00 for it including the shipping. I have been buying some cheapo clarinnets and tinkering with them, but I'm not going to try that with this one.. I get a special rate form a woodwind tech friend that will repad it, recork it, polish up the keywork and give it an oil bath for $95.00. So, for well under $200. This is what I got. For a newbie I think that I did all right, what do you think?