Posted 21 February 2011 - 16:40
I've been working with the Arc system now for about a week, and I've been generally well pleased.
For the largest degree, the Arc quality point is extremely good. The "binder covers" are extremely good value for the cost, and the Arc paper has proven quite FP friendly, even with an ink like Parker Penman Sapphire, which can feather in some cases. I'm working a bit more with the graph paper inserts, but neither the standard pages or the graph pages are showing any appreciable bleedthrough or show-through so far with various inks. The plastic dividers are actually pretty good, and the colours work passing well without any tags placed on the index tabs to allow ready identification of the sections.
The pen loops, however, are pretty problematical for my Pelikans, even though I can fit an M400 in the smaller Arc book loop. I don't think that the materials of construction for the loop are particularly "pen-friendly" for a better quality pen. I'm typically keeping a pen in a shirt pocket, so this is not an insurmountable issue.
The one serious omission, which has been noted by others, is the lack of an Arc "smurf punch" for the paper (these are often called "smurfs" because of the roughly mushroom shaped hole to accommodate the Arc disks that looks like the hatted cartoon characters). Researching and reading on several other sites than FPN, I've discovered that the latest version of the Levenger punch is the much more desirable one for punching smurfs of the right size to turn easily on Arc/Levenger/Rollabind rings/disks. That's sharply tempered my interest in getting a used one from eBay, as the older models supposedly punch smaller, more binding holes that the paper can catch on when being turned. I have sufficient paper for the moment to wait a bit longer to see if Staples will bridge this gap, and further, to see if the punch from Staples will be properly manufactured. I might eventually make the jump to the Levenger punch if this Arc system continues to work so well, even though the price point on the punch from Levenger is relatively high.
To make this even a bit more fun, an FPN member was recently selling off a Levenger Circa "starter pack" of gear which I purchased, and when that arrives, I'll have a fairly complete set of Circa/Arc materials for me to use the system, well, systematically...