I have three of the beasts: a silver/blue ALstar M, a white Safari OB, and a charcoal Safari B. The first two I enjoy using very much, the OB is a wonderful nib. I'm the odd man out in that I can't stand the charcoal, to me it feels awful *and* skinnier. And the B nib is a dud, despite being smoothed almost into stubbishness.
The ALstar is my daily writer at work, and I've grown to love it. I find the grip more comfortable for my arthritic fingers than anything else I've tried so far, and the nib is smooth and wet. Plus I can pick it up, uncap it and start writing without checking to see if the nib is oriented properly. Would I replace it if lost? Probably not, as the next one wouldn't be the same I'm sure.
I am a big fan of these pens. But there is no getting away from the fact that:
-it is not the most handsome pen in the world (mind you it *is* a school pen, and a German one at that)
-the nibs are very inconsistent (but a replacement for 3 Euro can't be beat anywhere)
-the nibs are such nails that you could use them for cabinetmaking
I've only had the one duff nib out of a total of five.
The SafariStar is a design that one either loves or hates. Of course I would love a 50s 146, but I have champagne taste and beer money. It doesn't make me want to compose poetry at the sight of it, but it's far from the Ugliest Pen in the World. And, I love the section.
Right, I'm off to snap up a black ALstar, now that I'm in the mood. Or maybe THIS? http://www.ebay.com/...=item232f301edc
No bids yet
ETA: Yes, the Z24 converter is rubbish. A box of cartridges cost less, and the business end of the cartridge has that reinforcement so it keeps its shape for many re-fills. I throw them when they get too stained, not because they start leaking.
Edited by wastelanded, 11 September 2013 - 03:17.