MarshalN wrote:The Longjing rule applies for yixing - the best stuff don't stay there.
I was thinking along those lines. So then, to change the question, does anyone have experience in enough of these cities to say which one would have the better prices? Or is it really just shop by shop throughout them all, in which case the shop I have in Seoul is likely among the better ones (it is freakin awesome)? I got pretty nice semi-handmade hongni and zini 100ml pots for about $45 each, though they have up to $11k pots for sale, and my three favorite teas there are
-1988 shou for $40/100 grams
-1996 sheng for $300/250 grams
-1996 shou for $150/500 grams (my favorite)
I know this doesn't really help, since it all depends on leaf quality, storage quality, and scarcity. I just wanted to post it!
Also, in terms of knowing what I'm doing, I think I can usually tell blatant forgeries for yixing, but anything sophisticated and I wouldn't know (I can go down the checklist, but I just don't have the experience to decide if this "ping" sounds right or not!). As per puerh, I can tell my shou from my sheng (not from dry leaves all the time, though sometimes-mostly by liquor and taste), and I can usually tell the overall range or age, though I am still pretty novice. I can typically hazard a somewhat educated estimate as to the storage method by looking and tasting.
At the end of the day, I just want to feel comfortable looking somewhere that I will have the best shot at not getting totally ripped off. If someone rips me off and I don't know it, and I am happy with the tea, then so be it!