When I first stumbled upon this enabling site I quickly noted that there was a set of fountain pens considered to be 'great' in terms of value, ease of purchase and use. Some of them I had and others I didn't. Seeing that a lot of them tend not to be in the expensive category (although a few do creep that direction) I indulged. Naturally, my expectations for these pens was quite high, so the disappointment factor was unnaturally exaggerated. After about four of these great, crashing disappointments I began to wonder what on earth anyone saw in these 'wonder pens' and what was it about me that didn't seem to 'get it'. I thought it might be an idea to redress the balance - hence this thread. I will start the ball rolling with three pens that everyone and anyone seemed to give high praise to, but I ended up loathing.
First up for consideration is the Pilot 78G. It's tiny. Yes, that is a personal preference for some, but I like big pens. It doesn't hold a great deal of ink and it loves to leak. I read a few more reviews - nothing but elegant praise - and bought another one. It leaked in the same way. I gave it one more try. It also leaked and the nib was horrible. I ended up really annoyed at wasting my time and money on what looked and felt and acted like a cheap nasty pen.
Second offering is the Pilot Metropolitan. Now before you go all crazy, I have nothing against Pilot. In fact, I have a Pilot Falcon and an 823 Custom, both of which rate very highly in my pen collection. This one, on the other hand, was just damned ugly. The balance is a tad curious and that sharp step makes it the most irritating pen I have ever used. The nib is amazing, I will give it that - if only I could stick it on a different pen.
Last, but by no means least, the greatest disappointment of all, the Parson's Italix. It regularly gets very high praise here. I bought the nice amber coloured one and it is a lovely colour. I like it's little celtic patterns on the furniture. Then I picked it up. Boy is it a heavy pen. Normally I don't mind heavy pens at all; in fact I tend not to like pens that are too light, but this was just clumsy. This, however, was not my main issue. This pen is often described as having a truly great nib and certainly the website does have a bewildering set of options. I went for a fairly big stub, but it writes like a felt tip pen. It has absolutely zero line variation. It's nice and smooth, but it aint no stub.
All in all, it has still been a useful exercise. I don't necessarily regret buying these pens, but I do regret parting with the cash. It has taught me that one person's pleasure is another person's poison and when it comes to buying pens reviews can be very useful but they can't always be the main factor in a purchase.