Last year we found this beautiful article, Asian Fusion, featuring the home of Rirkrit Tiravanija. What is particularly interesting about Tiravanija's home is that while sitting in Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand), he and his wife have populated it with many MidCentury pieces, including the chair above: an Eames shell chair with wooden dowel legs (BTW - the lamp is George Nelson and I think the desk is as well)....
This is not a version of the shell chair that you see very often, and I happen to like it more than the typical wire base, which is heavy and less organic. The best wooden dowel base shell chairs are vintage and were made by Herman Miller (they now make them out of polypropelene), but you can buy new ones in fiberglass from Modernica (they were original manufacturers as well). I have included all the links below. Thank goodness that DWR hasn't decided to sell these yet, as they retain their unique look and feel.
The original shell chair comes now has many options: many colors, comes in either side or armchair configuration, has a swivel or a fixed base option, and the wood of base can be maple or walnut. I recommend that in addition to considering these are VERY WELL priced side chairs with a great design pedigree, you check out the Times Article with Jason Schmidt's lovely pics.
Vintage (not always in stock!)
>> 1st Dibs
Here's a pic I took of them in Los Angeles in their high stool form at Shima!
(Re-Edited from 2008-03-17 - mgr)