I'm looking for a nice fountain pen for when I go off to college. Here are my requirements for the pen:
- The pen must be less than $170.
- I would prefer a new pen - not sure if vintage pens interest me (well, at the moment at least).
- I would very much like a nib that has some pleasant 'spring' to it (my current Lamy Safaris definitely don't, and neither does my Goulet #6 nib). However, I'm not looking for a flex pen. Slight line variation would be nice, but isn't required.
- The pen must be durable (though, I do plan to have this pen in a leather case/pouch).
- Nib must write smoothly out of the box, as I am terrible at adjusting nibs (and that's an understatement).
- I want am looking for a somewhat fine nib size. Not extremely fine, though, as I do want shading inks to show some decent shading.
- Must be able to write decently on cheap paper, especially for note-taking (another reason I'm going with finer nib sizes). I do have some Rhodia and Clairefontaine paper, but I won't be using that all the time for classes.
- Note: I will [hopefully] try these in a brick and mortar store to see how they fit in my hand, but I will buy them online to save money.
These are the pens that I am currently considering, and my thoughts about each of them at the moment (feel free to suggest a different pen and/or comment on my thoughts - all I've ever used is Lamy Safaris and a few Noodler's pens, so I'm new to this class of pens):
Lamy 2000 (Fine or Extra-Fine Nib, Makrolon Version)
- Very sleek, modern look! It's a pen that looks like it means business.
- Most expensive of the three (I've found it much cheaper on Amazon, but I would purchase it from a store like Goulet to ensure I get good customer service and so they can test it before they ship it).
- Large ink capacity, so I don't have to worry about refilling the pen constantly (in high school, I found I could go through a Lamy converter's ink capacity in two or three days).
- I've read that this is an incredibly durable pen, even though it isn't a metal pen (excluding the section). However, I've heard the section can be a bit slippery.
- Nib may not be the smoothest (at least, compared to the nibs on the other pens I'm considering).
- Hooded nib, to avoid drying out during class if I should forget to cap it (and less of the feed/nib to accidentally touch and get ink all over my hands!).
- Gold nib.
- Nibs can't be replaced (or, at least not easily) - whatever nib I buy is the nib I'm stuck with unless I buy another entire pen.
Pilot Vanishing Point (Medium or Fine Nib, Black with Rhodium Trim Version)
- Super convenient, no cap to worry about.
- Hooded nib again.
- Small ink capacity, which I'm worried I'll burn through extremely fast.
- All-metal pen, very durable. However, of the three, perhaps the most boring in terms of looks (at least, to me). Also, I doubt the clip would get in the way when holding the pen.
- Black laquered finish should be durable, as I've read the black matte finish has had durability issues.
- Much cheaper than the Lamy.
- Has easily-replaceable nib units (which can also be Binderized), though they are not the cheapest of nibs ($56-$69 a piece).
- Gold nib.
Pelikan M200 (Fine Nib, Green Marbled Version)
- Looks extremely classy! Has the look of a very classic and timeless fountain pen, even being one of the cheapest in the Pelikan line.
- Cheapest of the bunch, allows me to get a nice bottle of ink or something as well.
- Large ink capacity.
- All-plastic, which I worry may be easily scratched and might not be too durable.
- Steel nib, which I am concerned may not have the smoothness or 'springiness' that I am looking for (though, I have heard it's a very good steel nib).
- The nib is gold-plated, which I have heard wears away relatively easily. I know there's silver versions of this pen (the Pelikan M205/M215 if I'm not mistaken), but those are more expensive and I really prefer the Green Marbled finish.
- Replacement nibs are somewhat inexpensive, even when they're Binderized ($34), and they're easy to replace. Also, it's compatible with the gold nibs from the M400 pen (though they are pricey, $127 a piece when Binderized).
- Kinda silly, but would look nice in my collection if I ever end up getting a pen from the Souverän series someday.
I'm having such a hard time deciding! What are your thoughts?