blu, I believe it but I've heard that the only pralines that beat this one is from a Creole mama.
Gordon, the 234 degree "soft ball" stage is critical in my experience. Its best to go a couple degrees above than to take it off the heat below it. Also, its important to bring the pecan mixture back up to that soft ball temp; that Creole mama mentioned above, I was told could do it by eye, but I ain't Creole and certainly ain't no mama.
A candy thermometer is handy but if you have an accurate meat thermometer, just bring it to 234 or 36.