You can get a 1.1 or 1.5 mm stub on the TWSBI Vac 700 or Mini (or the 580 once it's available). They're all great pens and under $100. You could also watch Greg Minuskin's site. He often has vintage pens with awesome stub nibs, frequently for under $100. He does fantastic work. http://gregminuskin.com
Thank you for the recommendations, I follow Minuskin's sale site, but he often sells out quickly. I've been waiting on the Economic TWSBI to try their FP too.
If you've tried those pens and nibs, that should give you something to go on for your next pick.
Kindly consider moving to a hand-ground nib that will have more character than a factory stock nib.
(After years of so-so factory stock nibs, the over-the-counter g-p steel Pelikan M200 1.0mm Stub from richardspens was a revelation. *wiggle toes* )
Within your cost constraint you'll likely be limited to over-the-counter nibs, rather than a custom nib+feed tuned to your specs, but I reckon it'll be worth the effort to search for the right one.
Alternatively, you might consider having a nib on one of your current pens hand-ground, rather than paying for a nib and a pen you might not like so much.
(Most Western M nibs can be ground to a respectable useful 0.6 - 0.7mm Cursive italic or Stub.)
Thanks for the reply. I forgot to add that the .4 stub was a custom order from Binder, I like it but there is a definite learning curve for custom nibs.
I don't have one myself (yet) but I've only heard good things about the Italix Parson's Essential. Its stubs/italic nibs are supposed to be great writers (they're custom ground), and you can get the whole thing for about $65 shipped to the US. Stephen Brown has a great review on YouTube. Check it out!
Yes, I've read reviews about the italix but I was wondering if it's too broad for general writing?
Which of the pens you've tried was the best and how were you hoping to improve? People seem to have different requirements for italics in terms of line width, smoothness, tolerance of hand rotation, etc. If you let us know what works for you we might be able to help you better.
Out of all the FP, so far I liked the Osmiroid italic fine nib. It had nice variation and wrote relatively smoothly.
Monteverde and Conklin have a nice stub. Some of them are under $100.
I pulled the nib off one of my Plumixes and put it on a Pilot Metropolitan. It's fast and easy and you my like the Metropolitan style more
Thank you for the suggestions for Monteverde & Conklin. I'll add it to my list for further research on FP. I might switch the Plumix nib and add it to my Pilot Prera.