I should have done this in my original post but here are the reasons I believe the Sheaffer Snorkel (especially Valiant, Setinels, Crest, Triumph and of course the Masterpiece) are the best pen ever made
1. It feels extremely balance in my hands.
2. I love the triumph nib.
3. It has a very complicated filling mechanism yet it will work for decades. (The other day I bought a 1st year snorkel that hasn't been restored and it still works more than 60 years later). If it does need restoration the restoration is fairly easy.
4. I think their design is beautiful.
I bought a Snorkel and tried to restore it. Gave up and it defeated me. Tried again with rebuilt one and then yet again with another rebuilt.
This gets into the subjective.
1. I was not regaled into falling in love by the feel and balance.
2. I disliked the triumph nib on this and on an Imperial, because I couldn't keep it on center.
3. I thought the mechanism was a bit much to work, tedious, and it was not easy to rebuild. I found it much easier to rebuild a Parker 51 Vac and infinitely easier to rebuild an Imperial Touchdown with inlaid nib. Both are simpler to work the mechanism on and fill the pen than a Snorkel. The little Snorkel tube is cute and the mechanism is devlishly ingenious, but I found it just devilish.
4. I thought the design of the Snorkels I had (and Balances, etc.) was kind of old and dorky.
Illustrating that this matter of what you like, what you esteem as the greatest, and what is the best ever is very subjective. You might be right, but not for reasons that appeal to me.
Real good pens, order fuzzy:
Parker 51 aerometric. Still running in my collection unrestored since 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1950s, 1960s, 1970 and early 70s (squarebacks).
Montblanc 144, 1980s, Rouge et Noir. Dorky pens but writers to love, especially lovely in red.
Waterman Carene, very smooth and ingeniously adept at throwing the cap off when posted.
Waterman Phileas, a pen I resisted but found workable, the feel of a MB 146 without the crummy filler mechanism and crummy feed.
Lamy Safary, simple and works with a variety of nibs that really are easy to change and durable.
Cross Solo, probably one of the best buys around, great nibs, great size.
Esterbrooks, usually old looking pens with mainly decent but unremarkable nibs that have the virtue of being moderately easy to change, inducing leaky nib threads, dangerous use of silicone lube as a sealant, and actually available if you shop patiently or open your wallet wide. Almost kinda-sorta nearly great pens. Easy to fix which makes them infuratingly persistent in the market. Mediocrity that you cannot kill off. But good and much loved mediocrity. 9312 the best nib. 9312 makes it a keeper.
Very, very much a matter for each to decide and to hate everyone else's picks. We are all different and different things shape our tastes. Early on, pens I had to use were older, pre-Parker 51, and leaked and failed, making me hate pens older than the 51, and looking older than 51s.