Re: Punnel or Vortex
In between the phunnel and a vortex, I'd go with the vortex because it uses the right amount of tobacco. I could not possibly want to smoke the same flavor for as long as even a small phunnel would warrant. Keeping this in mind 9 times out of 10 I'll use a standard Egyptian bowl. These are better for the types of tobacco I smoke(mainly Nakhla), and once again use a very reasonable amount of tobacco. The only real time I use a vortex is if I'm smoking Desi Murli.
As far as coal placement I use three coals and place them in a triangle on the bowl. I alternate between a windcover and taking off coals depending on the heat needed. I also used to smoke with 2 coals and a windcover for nearly the whole session but found that adding one more coal added 15-30 minutes of longevity to the session.
36" Al Falkher Solid - 36" KM Copper Heart Two Hose - 22" Temsah Mini-Wheat(a.k.a. Golden Nugget)