Advanced perpendicular writers continue to demand maximum write fields, fast rise times at ever vanishing head-media spacing and strict reliability standards. This means that the asymptotic progression to a 2.4 T pole with nearly ideal magnetic response continues. At the same time we must control critical pole dimensions, fabricate at a reasonable cost while protecting against corrosion and erasure risks. We will review progress made to meet this challenge in a discussion of high moment materials utilizing electroplating and sputter deposition for single layer films and laminates. Concerns for corrosion will be assessed and minimized by controls on key contaminants. Micromagnetic modeling will be used to study the phenomenology and expected performance impacts of these various materials and structures. Results will be used to provide a better insight into the potential materials/design tradeoffs that must be made. In conclusion, performance and reliability will be assessed through electrical testing.