I've been circling back to mechanical pencils and really enjoying them. I seem to be more "doodle inspired" with one than anything else. Ballpoints are permanent, fountain pen ink is limited, and lead is just so easily to reload.
I know very little about pencil leads... only that there's different compositions of lead/graphite and range from butter soft to rock hard, from pin point thinness to massive thickness of a cotton swab.
So what are some of the best value brands out there to buy? And what is a good hardness level that resists breakage but still gives enough softness for artistic flair?