Perception; yours, others of your status level that you wish to fit in with....There are more than enough folks that go at a $20 fountain pen, would do the same for a $20 ball point.
To think, 5-7 years ago every 'noobie' was told to get an Esterbrook.
Esterbrooks being addictive, jumped the $15 pen to way over $30 or more. Suddenly the 'noobie' was not told to get one. Same good pen, but great and inexpensive was no longer there, though actually $30 for one is cheap considering what you get.
There are still many decent cheap pens, but that don't pat your back. There is depending on the wages, various levels one travels through...Is a 'name' $100 pen actually better than a great $50 dollar Duke Chinese pen? Actually the Duke pen could be as good as a Graf Castell one, that costs much more than the $100. To me they are just nails, no matter what they cost. My perception is different than many folks.
Both the Duke and the Graf von Castell are heavy nails. Both are well made. The Graf pens offer a bit more western style, as they were designed to do. Graf gets talked about here a lot, Duke seldom.
If you are after the better writing nib....great vintage pens can be had. If you want a bling nib, modern has more bling.
Hey, I remember my first two tone bling nib. It certainly looked more classy than the old plain gold nibs of yesteryear. It is noticeable across a table. Bling.
I have a MB Woolf...it's blingy enough. The nib though is monotone gold, the engraving though is my eye only, not across the table. Fine by me...I really like those trees on the nib.
Luckily it was on sale for 1/3 off and my wife was buying it for me for my birthday. (Why I couldn't afford another pen or even ink for a year had to do with the old our money situation.) Is a MB Virginia Woolf even on such a sale worth that sort of money? No. Is is worth buying for that sort of money. Yes. In beauty has it's own price.