I don't really have any sort of visceral hatred for MontBlanc. But I was taught from my childhood to regard performance and reliability as the metrics of quality, rather than image or style. Montblanc pursues a premium pricing strategy ( https://en.wikipedia...Premium_pricing ) and that means that I am not going to get the performance:price ratio I'd get from eg. a used Parker "51" or a Noodler's Konrad retrofitted with a Goulet nib.. MontBlanc's price point is designed to increase the perception of performance without them actually having to do so.
Previous complaints, about the fragility of "precious resin," the deliberate pretentiousness of the brand, the fact that eight demonstrater 149s at a MB boutique managed to leak 6 colors of ink on my hands, and good but not outstanding performance, make me generally unwilling to buy a 149 or 146, even used. Maybe at around 100 USD, when I have 100+ USD to spare.
(edit) I'd never dream of telling anyone who has willingly paid whatever it takes for one of these pens that they were wrong. After all, de gustibus non disputandem. I might tell em that I wouldn't have made that purchase, presuming that the qualifier "at this time and in my current situation" was understood. (/edit)
Montblanc used to make a full line of pens, from school pens on up, and I wouldn't have any objection to buying some of the pens from that era and some of those lines (Carerra, f'r instance). I think that my first choice in the 146/149 price range would probably be an Omas -- a 360, in my case.
I'll echo that Pelikans can be pretty rough out of the box. After I bought my M200, I sent at least a half-dozen nibs to PelikanSRW, then the US distributor, for exchange (paying only postage), before I got one I liked. I never bothered to do so for my M400, and it could use some attention. But I am content with it as it is. This is the reason why, when I recommend an M200 for a first pen, I tell people to get it from Richard Binder (with whom I have never done business, but who has a sterling reputation).
As for Louis Vuitton, my aunt has a few of their bags, and has had for enough years to send them in for repair -- as with Pelikan, they don't charge for the service.
Edited by Arkanabar, 28 September 2014 - 04:11.