ethan wrote: How much better can tea taste that is made in a superior pot of a type ideal for using w/ a particular tea? For those that notice great differences, is it the pots, or, is the development of their palates, or both? I don't know.
There are many factors involved, it is about developing your palate, it is also about the pot, and of course development in skill. The best pot won't be of much use if your skills or palate hasn't been developed.
My tea teacher always, when i see him, sits me me down and helps me in that. In terms of pots - he lines up different pots, and shows me the difference in these pots, and how the experience of tea changes with each pot. He has a fabulous collection of pots - Qing pots, even one or the other Ming pot. He does the same with other equipment, such as with different teacups, or vessels to boil water in.
That doesn't mean though that tea won't be enjoyable in your cheap pots - on the opposite: it is all about enjoyment.
But it also is about development in skills, and part of that is learning about the equipment. This is not easy without the help of a teacher, and/or a round of people that are interested in tea. In that sense pots will become important.
This of course is quite difficult when one is living far from places where very knowledgeable tea people life. How could one know the difference an older pot makes compared to a new pot when one never had the opportunity to to drink from one?
And that is the problem i have with such vendors as the one in discussion here. He plays on exactly that lack of opportunity access tea lovers in Europe or in the US have. The pots he sells are extremely questionable cheap rubbish. There are new pots that are perfectly OK to make a very nice pot of tea. You can go to any good teashop in places such as KL, Hongkong or Taiwan and see them for sale. But those he sells are not of that category. If he would be honest he would try to make OK new pots accessible to tea lovers from the West, instead of overpriced cheap imitations of what are not reproductions of older pots.
I have no idea what sort of pots are sold in teashops in the west, i am too rarely in Europe. I only know one teashop in my my hometown there, and they sell some not too bad newer pots for less than what this ebay vendor asks for his pots.