Trying to decide between two options in the $30-40 range for my first vintage pen. One is an Esterbrook of some variety. My first priority with that would be to get one that's properly restored, which seem to be less common. I know there are tutorials for installing a new sac, but I'm not quite at that point in my fountain pen "career" yet. I know these are super popular here on FPN (which doesn't seem to be helping the eBay prices)!
Another option is a Sheaffer 444 NOS "seconds" from Peyton Street Pens. They're going for $30 and I don't think the cosmetic damage will bother me. A vintage pen should have some character, after all. I like the 444 over the similarly-priced 330 and 440 because it's all metal and a bit heavier.
Does anyone have experience with both of these pens? Does one have better fit-and-finish? Which is more beginner-friendly? That is, a reliable writer, durable, and not something I'll feel inclined to put in a glass case for fear of damaging it.
Alternatively, would you recommend a completely different vintage pen in that price range? Thanks!