A pipe makes a good gift for male friends or relatives who enjoy a good tobacco. We should add though that it's considered good manners to give a can or pouch of quality pipe tobacco with it.
There have been so many decades of anti-tobacco hysteria drummed into men's heads, that something as mundane as the choice of a pipe is actually forgotten. It depends mostly on where it will be used as to which type is best. One cautionary note: Meerschaum Pipes---though they are handsome, are best left to experienced smokers. They take some special handling and care.
Milton Sherman, a WW2 hero and a leading tobacco executive of the mid-20th Century, gave this advice on pipe styles:
"When selecting a pipe, remember that while it should serve a function, it should also flatter the appearance. Young men look very well in medium-sized straight pipes, such as 'bulldogs' or 'pots'. Tall men carry a 'Canadian' or 'Lumberman' type very well. Men who are small or studious types seem to look well with curved stem pipes with bowls selected to be in proportion to the face."
Most of these styles are fairly standard, but it would probably be prudent to see examples of them online before going to a tobacconist. Let's be candid: at least here out West most tobacco stores are run by persons whose native language isn't English, so they be unfamiliar with the terminology.
Some of the long-stemmed pipes, like Churchwardens are best smoked at home or indoors. Curved-stemmed pipes are good in general for relaxing, but if reading or working on the computer have a tendency to send smoke into your eyes. Straight pipes are good for smoking while working indoors, while curved pipes are best working or relaxing outside.
A good briar pipe takes some breaking-in. It's good to moisten the bowl first and smoke very slowly. The point of this is to cure the inside as to protect it from overheating. If pipe-bowls get too hot, typically the user is inhaling too fast. Pipe smoking and care is in many ways a skill; and a learning curve at times. It's a little more complicated and high-maintenance than cigars or cigarettes; but gives a sense of satisfaction once you really get the hang of it.
And above all, don't let anti-tobacco fanatics get you down. Even Santa doesn't like them.