I actually prefer the Bic! And I've been burned (or chosen poorly) with the more expensive pens I've bought (still under $100, though, so perhaps not high-end enough to really hit the better-craftsmanship mark?). So, for my own happiness, cheap (even disposable) pens are usually best.
But there are lots of things I'm willing to spend some extra money on in order to get the aesthetics I like better. If you've got the money and it makes you smile, then I see why you'd do it!
ETA: I've never seen a Bic fountain pen before. Clearly a trip to Europe is required...
I bought my Bic disposable fountain pens in Staples, in the US, so they may be fairly widely distributed.
I have to say that until I started actively looking, the pens available in a ten mile range were not jumping off the shelf at me.
Bic also makes - under its own name, that is brand-name - Bic, fountain pens that are not meant to be disposable and are refillable.
But they are not available in the US. You don't have to go to Europe though, unless you just want to, for a different kind of fun!
When I originally started collecting them, and also some German student pens that were generally unavailable in the US, the difficulty of acquiring them was part of the fun - even though they were inexpensive by some standards. But definitely fun to have as well as fun to try to acquire.
Now, I have an easier solution - but this is still a fun part of my collection.
You can get the Bic's and some comparable competitors at Amazon UK.
And an excellent selection of German school pens at Amazon Deutschland - although I admit Amazon Deutschland is easier to use if you read and write German (fortunately I was a German lit major my first trip through school). This is the only place I could find Online's Werewolf pen which is currently my favorite "fun" pen.
If you have a standing account with Amazon (any version of Amazon), they charge to whatever you told them was the default credit card for your account and they automatically translate the price - before you finish checking out - to the currency that matches your default credit card. So you know how much it is really costing you in your own money. If you have Prime, you don't get the 2-day shipping but you do get a significant discount on shipping that makes shipping cheap pens from Europe very affordable (before I discovered the wonders of international shopping at Amazon, I had to pay twice as much for shipping as some of my inexpensive "fun" pens cost).
Wandering a bit from the topic, but I thought I would share this experience. And it is not so much of a wander, because the point is the pleasure and the fun - which sometimes for me is in the luxury market and sometimes in the fun market, depending on my mood.
Edited by queenofpens, 09 August 2013 - 20:20.