Thanks again Alex for the information on the Jinhao 950. My bid on eBay just ended @ $9.27 shipped. Now I won't be worrying if I bought a decent pen for the next week or two it takes for the pen to come to Kansas.
**Update** - the Bamboo 950 was received in Kansas today. 10 days from Ship to Prairie - not too bad of a wait at all. It is all you others describe and more. I am really impressed with the porcelain exterior. I am sure it has a metal interior, but all but assured it is real porcelain outside and that makes the pen feel and look expensive. Nice job on a $10 pen. Incredible value. A beautiful Pen!
Normally I have a "rush to fill with ink" moment when I get a new pen. But I managed to wait and do the the flush preparation.
I did a water flush with a tiny bit of dish detergent. Then total rinse, blew out the section from the "ink" end to dry it and made sure it got the water out by drying the nib end in a paper towel. I'm going to do this with all my new pens from now on.
I used a fill of Hero #233 Blue ink that I have been testing. It flowed very well. Barely touched the surface of the paper, no drag or scratchy feel at all!
It is a nice ink, deeply and brightly blue. Reminds me of the PR American Blue and my old Parker Penman Blue Sapphire I don't use anymore. The difference to the latter is that the Hero Blue does not seem to have the "reddish" secondary sheen that the Sapphire did. That ink is now pretty dried and thick in the old bottle that I saved. Scared to use in in any pen. Too late to dilute I think. But I like the bottle and it makes me think of how lucky we were when Penman was available. Oh Nostalgia - where have you gone?
In any case the medium nib makes the Hero Blue to stand out on a white paper notebook. I had been using the ink in a smaller Chinese nib (#50 Hero Panda Engraved body). The medium nib of the Bamboo Jinhao makes the blue really sharp and it stands out nicely. This on a plain white Mead/Cambridge legal pad.
Most importantly - the nib is just really smooth. I have some much more expensive pens that are certainly smooth. But this Jinhao is a real pleasure. They do a great job with nibs there in Shanghai. The deep blue Hero ink seems to compliment the bamboo script.
I'm a happy camper. Hope you all have as much luck with your Jinhaos.