I keep reading this. In my experience, I have yet to find a single person who has ever given a rat's rear about pens as status symbols.
Okay, admittedly I don't have a MB and have no desire to get one. But twice in a week I've had someone ooh ah over a pen I was using while signing a credit card slip (as in "Wow, that's a nice pen!").
In both cases it was... (drumroll)... my $40 Noodler's ebonite Konrad.... I think mostly the only other times I've ever had people even *notice* I had something other than a BP was when I was using regular resin Konrads, other than people who know me, or if my husband points out to them "She wants to use one of her *fancy* pens...."
So for the average Joe/John and Jane Q. Public type of person, having a pen with a "splat" on it isn't going to mean a whole lot. Maybe if you're trying to impress some politician or Wall Street tycoon, but in my experience most people aren't even going to notice you HAVE a fountain pen, let alone what brand it is.
Interestingly enough though, I'm just finishing reading _The Looming Tower_, where it mentions that John O'Neill (one of the leading FBI agents trying to track down and prosecute Osama bin Laden prior to 911) used a Montblanc BP -- for him it *was* kinda a status symbol apparently (there are comments by the book's author that O'Neill dressed more like the mobsters he was trying to catch than your typical G-man, and generally living beyond his means).
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth
"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."