This is my first post to FPN, so please excuse me if I write something inappropriate or stray into areas that are not normally written about, but I find this topic and its responses to be fascinating.
I am not familiar with the Chinese knock-off pens and how closely they resemble their older brethren, but I am familiar with how another luxury, collectible market has experienced imitation. My full-time profession is as a coin dealer and coin photographer and I have witnessed first-hand the effects of overseas production of imitations to US and world coins. Perhaps two decades ago there were original coins, counterfeit pieces and legal reproductions of US coins. The Hobby Protection Act of 1973 required that any copies of US coinage have the term "COPY" stamped boldly on either side and most companies that produced reproductions complied with this legislation.
However, it soon became apparent that the better produced reproductions could be manipulated in the after-market to make them appear to be original US Mint issues. These legal reproductions now became counterfeits in the hands of the unscrupulous. They show up in online venues quite frequently with stories such as "this was my grandfather's coin and he received it from his grandfather when he was a boy...". What makes some of these altered replicas easier to spot is that the companies that originally produced the reproductions intentionally changed a few details in the design of each piece so that they might better identify reproductions that were altered to look like originals. This safeguard works fairly well, yet a number of dealers were taken for a loss when these counterfeits were passed off at coin shows. Additionally, many newer collectors buy these and have no clue until they send them in for certification. As an aside, in the coin industry you can send a coin into a third-party grading company that will authenticate the piece as real and assign a grade that facilitates sales and condition census records, this is known as certification.
Later, overseas factories, often but not always in China, came into being with the sole purpose of making knock-off (read; counterfeit) coinage. This coinage does not bear "COPY" on it and does not intentionally have a detail or two incorrect in the design. Some of these are very well made from the correct metallic composition and then artificially worn down to look like they circulated in commerce for years. These are dangerous and most coin dealers now have to deal with this fairly frequently.
Many collectors delight in these counterfeits because they can afford a copy of a coin that they could never have afforded if they were required to purchase the original US Mint made product. For example, one could pay $2 for a counterfeit 1796 quarter instead of $25,000 for a mid-grade, original 1796 quarter. These $25,000 coins are not often sold uncertified so the counterfeits are more easily spotted, but a coin such as an 1839-O half dollar can be found as an original for perhaps $2,500 uncertified whereas the counterfeit can be purchased for the same $2. Since my niche specialty within numismatics includes the 1839-O half dollar, I have experienced folks attempting to sell these counterfeits to me and they always have the story that they don't know anything about coins and are attempting to sell the piece for their brother. I have not yet been fooled, but I don't know if that will always be the case.
The original reproductions with "COPY" stamped on them were well received by the coin collecting community, but as time has gone by the altered reproductions and subsequent high quality counterfeits have begun to undermine confidence in the market. Those collectors who thought it was funny to purchase the $2 counterfeits were unwittingly encouraging and funding the production of more and better made counterfeits. Again, I don't know how faithfully these knock-off fountain pens are produced relative to high end pieces, but if they are getting better and better at the imitation then they may be providing a template for those to make further alterations. If that is the case, then those who buy and collect high end fountain pens might be in for a rude surprise at some point in the future. Of course, if that is not the case then these two collecting areas (coins and pens) might not be so similar.
Please accept my apology if I have misread this thread or interpreted the thread incorrectly given my relatively limited experience in this arena. Thank you.