Pieper certainly did not make "best" guns, but the Piepers I have seen (I used to own one) were better than JABC. They were not expensive guns, but they were not the dirt-cheap junk that Belgium is so famous for. Mine (a 28 gauge hammer gun) was well-made and strong, and I shot clays with it for a while. I only got rid of it because the stock did not fit me - it was probably made for a lady or youngster. I paid $700 for it and sold it for the same price. It had fluid steel barrels, not damascus.
You've got to be careful about shooting damascus. Do it only after it has been inspected by a knowledgeable gunsmith, and use low-pressure shells. Unfortunately, most gun-fixers are not knowledgeable about damascus.