Re: whats the deal with phunnels?
Phunnels are good for certain brands. I remember I had mine with a smiley glass mod (probably before your times) and honestly it was only good for tangiers. I think people hype them up a bit.
For most shisha, my favorite bowls hand down were the cheap $5 dollar clay ones. I had tried ceramics(standard and multiple bowls), glass (smiley's), phunnel's and probably a few other. Best experience I had was plain old clay.
For whatever reason, I never enjoyed ceramic bowls all that much. This was especially true with the phunnels. The heat distribution was always hard to get right, it was always a pain to get the foil tight on there (especially after punching holes) and over all it felt like a gimmick and pain in the arse.
Clay is always cheaper, you know what to expect with them, smoke is always good and if you pick up the small one's you can get away with using a lot less shisha and also foil (mmm Alzheimer). It's always nice to know if you manage to break it, you didn't just lose 15 bucks too. The one major con though is that over time clay will produce micro-fractures and eventually break on it's own.