Something tells me the quality control has gotten better with the latest batch. I got a Medieval Lapis Ahab (looks amazing!) in the mail about a week ago and it worked fine after just a flush and tooth brushing with some diluted ammonia. I may not have even had to do that, but I was just being safe.
Anyway, I am a huge fan of this pen and may not have to look for another model. Here's why:
Inexpensive: $20. Makes it very replaceable as far as fountain pens go, and affordable to make a collection (*cough SamCapote cough*) if you like having multiples of pens that you like.
Customizable: You can adjust the ink flow's wetness (though admittedly it starts out a little wet) and put in a different nib if you'd like. Xfountainpens.com carries a series of Knox K35 nibs that are two tone (steel with partial gold plating), very smooth, and come in six sizes. These are also very inexpensive, and I highly recommend them. There's a thread linked in my signature about these nibs. There are also twenty different colors that the Ahab comes in, a selection you will be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
Comfortable: the size is on the large side, making it pleasant to hold for me. I don't have extremely large hands (forefinger's a little over three inches) but I like having a thicker pen. I really like the shape of the grip and how small the step between the barrel and section is. It also has a moderate weight -nice in a larger pen- and good balance. I'm used to using it posted, so I don't find it imbalanced either way.
Filling: the syringe filler is very fast and reliable. Very little time is needed to get the pen filled (perhaps two cycles, straight up and down.) One might want to put silicone grease on the o-ring when you flush it, just as a safeguard against minor leaks past the plunger.
Build: quite sturdy. Nothing about the pen feels cheap to me, in spite of it being $20. The screw on cap is secure, the body and grip is solid but has a smooth, almost soft feel. The clip has been praised by many and for good reason - it bends out easily to slip over a jeans pocket or even a notepad, but snaps back securely and reliably. I personally like the looks of the Ahab because it's so functional and has some class without being flashy. I also like having the ability of completely cleaning and breaking down the pen in around a minute.
Nib: Though it's not a "full flex" nib, I really like the Ahab's nib for general writing. It's not great for calligraphy, but seems pretty well suited for drawing. It's flexible enough to be springy, so it has some give and is forgiving of heavier pressure from the hand (and gives you some killer shading if you do put a little pressure down.) It's fairly smooth though not incredibly so. If the flex doesn't suit you and you want firmer, smoother, or bolder nib, the Knox ones are fantastic.
I just want to get the Knox B-OBB nib set to complete the EF-M set I have and love. If I get gift cards for gouletpens for my birthday, I might get an ivory darkness Ahab as my last. Realistically, I can only use so many pens at the same time without running into dry out issues at some point. I really love this pen though.
Edited by P.A.R., 17 April 2012 - 00:29.