I've now had this pen for long enough, and used it enough, to feel like I can at least give it a decent review.
With a quick search, I pulled up a review that included a lot of photos of packaging and things, so I won't include those. I don't pay much attention to them anyway. Suffice it to say, the pen was safe and secure in the plastic pen case.
Brand: Faber Castell
Pen Name: Ambition
Intro: A friend purchased the pen for me as a gift to start my new job. I had ogled the pen previously, as I thought it was gorgeous. Simply holding it in the store, no ink, it felt very natural in my hand. I love the feel of the wood on my fingers. It's a silly, non-empirical sentiment, but it feels very New England to me, so seemed appropriate with my origins in MA.
Appearance/Design: 10/10 Clean, gorgeous, "mission" styling.
I'm biased. This pen plays to all of my stylistic preferences. Clean lines, warm (untreated) natural wood, unadorned metal, and what I think of as Shaker or Mission styling with the straight, square, simple but sturdy look. I look at this pen and I WANT to write with it.
Construction/Quality: 8/10 Very little flimsy here.
There's very little here that seems like it could break. The threads on the metal-core body are appear brass. The pocket clip is Faber-Castell's lovely levered clip which is easy to use and doesn't get over-stressed. Everything fits very tightly, there are no visible cracks, weak points, glue joins, etc. The only worries here are the plastic lining in the cap, which seems like it could eventually wear out as it's a very tight cap (something I value). Also, a core feature of the pen is the untreated wood. If you write with it regularly you'll probably be fine. If you care for it like you would untreated wood, you'll likely be fine. But as it's thin, I could see it drying out and cracking if left alone in a box for too long, like a guitar or such.
Here's the clip
Weight/Dimensions: 10/10 or 5/10 Perfect for me, Heavy cap for posting
Posted, the pen is 6.2 inches long and 1.1 ounces - long and hefty
Unposted, the pen is only 4.8 inches long and... much lighter.
I don't post. This is lucky for me, as the cap is mostly metal, while the body is light wood and light metal so posted it feels top-heavy. I also have small hands and a slightly "off" grip. I love the light, thin, straight body, and the "short" barrel is just large enough that I actually alternate gripping the pen there, and on the wood, depending what kind of writing I'm doing. However, if you have larger hands/fingers, be aware that you will have to hold it by the wood or get used to your finger tips overlapping the seam between metal and wood. If you like the hefty, broad bodied, "power pens" then the slim line of this "skinnypen" likely won't make your heart sing.
Nib/Performance: 9/10 mid-flow, smooth, a bit broad
I tend to prefer super-fine, dryer writers, as I write a lot of really tiny stuff. This pen doesn't do that, which at first really disappointed me. Then I got some other pens, actually used this one at work, and came to appreciate it more. I'm now on refill 3 and I've only been using it for a month, that's how much I use it. It's so far played nice with Noodler's Bad Black Moccasin, De Atramentis Black Edition Brown, and Platinum Carbon Black.
I have a Fine nib. They come in EF/F/M/B. The Fine is not as fine as I'd like. That's really not the fault of the nib, it's the fault of my being used to Japanese Fine and my friend not being a FP person. Objectively, it does fall into the "fine" category. That said, the nib is a beautiful steel with iridium tip, and I've yet to have a hard-start. While I don't always prefer broader/wetter writers, I've taken to carrying this with me to meetings if I might need to write on unknown paper. It doesn't flex, at least not much with the pressure I'm willing to put on it. That's fine, it's not what I use it for.
The writing is very smooth, with just a bit of feedback, even on cruddy paper, even after it has sat for a few days unused, and that feature I love. I consider it a "wetter" writer, but that's in comparison with my other pens, which are mostly Pilots currently, none of which are wet at all. It's certainly not sloshy like my Creaper. And that wetness is what facilitates the crappy paper writing. (of note, I have Noodler's Bad Black Moccasin in it at the moment).
Filling System and Maintenance: 8/10
It came with a Faber-Castell converter already installed, but that's easily taken in and out and replaced. The nib and grip are easily separable, and both screw into position. The converter is simple to operate.
I don't know how you would clean the wood if it became ink stained. I haven't smudged enough yet to stain. I probably will, because I am not a neat person. I worry about this, and hope my finger oils will protect it some.
Otherwise, the pen doesn't seem very high-maintenance. It filled easily and wrote flawlessly straight out of the box, and re-filled equally easily. Certainly caused me less issues than my newly acquired Platinum Plaisir *looks at bright orange hands*
Taken apart. You can easily unscrew the nib from the metal grip as well.
Cost/Value: 7/10 A bit pricey, but worth it for me
I'll admit I have little idea about this one. It feels worth it to me. I ADORE the styling on this pen, I really like the way it writes, and use it regularly. It cost $150 with the converter, which is the high range of what this pen can cost, but having bought it from a physical store I could go back and have them mess with it if something goes wrong. I write with it on a daily basis, and it's my go-to pen when I need to write on unknown paper, or when I'm practicing my penmanship with quotes on Rhodia or sugar cane paper because, like I said, it makes me WANT to write. So, for me, totally worth it. For others? If you want a thin, low maintenance pen, that you probably won't post, that's really reliable and writes like butter... it's probably worth it.
It came from Paradise Pens in Reston, VA. They only had Medium nibs in stock, and I pretty much only use Fine and Extra-Fine. The shop was happy to send out for a Fine tip, and it came within a week. He didn't realize they made an Extra-Fine.
Conclusion: 8.7 or 7.8
I love this pen with all my little heart. I'm not broadly experienced yet, but for me it's one of my go-to pens. With this and my Pilot Cavalier, I feel like I can write on just about any paper I need to and am not going to have problems. I love the feel of it in my hand and it makes me want to write better. It definitely has it's flaws, especially if you're a poster, or have big hands, but I'm neither. I worry about the wood, but the wood is also the reason I love it so much (mm tactile).
Hopefully this is helpful! If you're new to FPs and have small hands like me, it's definitely worth the monetary leap.