You are indeed correct (new to this particular forum and not particularly big Waterman fan) and I defer to you/Force on the market value of Phileas. Those were my intuitive thoughts. The Phileas was desirable because it was a cheap yet relatively quality pen. My mind can't fathom people buying something that used to be cheap at high prices, but I suppose it's happened before.
You've prompted me to do a quick eBay search and I now see that some Phileases are going for... substantially more than what I would have considered the market price for a new one a few years ago (about $40). This leaves me scratching my head, but to each his own.
I too am new here and have learned much about my motley collection of new and used Phileas fountain pens. Seems they really did sell at Staples for $20 originally. I have bought new ones since then for $50 to $100. Today (August 2013), there is a single, used Waterman Phileas listed on Amazon.com for $250. Maybe that's crazy, and maybe it's an inflated "bubble".
I understand the argument that higher-priced and higher-quality pens outclass the modest Phileas. But my Philias pen possesses a certain "quintessence". (Webster: "the pure and concentrated essence of a substance.") As you know, quintessence shows up in mundane items like Keds high-top sneakers, the Oreo cookie, the brown paper bag, Crayola Crayons, strike-anywhere matches, Q-tips, etc. These classic products are notable for simply being what they are, without pretense.
When a truly quintessential product is discontiued, they can become highly prized as collectibles. (Is a '57 Chevy truly better than a '58 Chevy? Collectors think so.)
My Phileas delivers good performance, a fairly classic look, and workmanlike durability. Phileas reviews are almost always good, although the phrase "...considering its low price" seems to be obligatory. Perhaps the Phileas is currently a pony among thoroughbreds, but I suspect its appeal will be long-lived.
Regardless, may we all live long enough to see our personal collections soar in value. Meanwhile, we all have a very enjoyable pastime.
Edited by TwelveDrawings, 25 August 2013 - 19:18.