Having decided that my next pen will be an Esterbrook, I've been doing some online research to narrow it down to the right model. There is a fair (read: overwhelming) amount of good info out there, but input from Estie users and experts would be invaluable to me.
Currently, my favorite pen is the Pilot Prera with a fine nib. Its weight, size, and smooth-writing nib are just right. I prefer smaller, lighter pens with a grip section that isn't terribly wide. I've been looking at the J lineup and think that an SJ might fit the bill nicely, but they made a ton of other pens and it's hard to dig up specs on any of them. So, my questions:
- Which other Esterbrook models are on the smaller/lighter side? Of the Js, the SJ is obviously a bit shorter and slimmer. The CH and H "purse pen" models are adorable, but I don't like the colors much aside from the gray--would it be hard to find? Others?
- Finest nibs that aren't scratchy? (9550 or 9556 maybe?)
- Reputable sellers online?
- Fair price for an SJ--or whatever else you might recommend--in decent shape and working order?
- How often do the sacs need to be replaced? How long-lived does the lever tend do be? Any other special maintenance/care I should know about going in?
- Do they handle most inks well? Any brands to avoid in an Esterbrook? I mainly use Noodler's Black and Bad Black Moccasin.
Anything else you could tell me would be great. Thanks!