It is actually appalling @ any price level; I sent a MB 146 to Texas, after confirming the price of a replacement nib (a NOS, but out of time frame for nib replacement) two summers ago. I agreed to pay almost $300.00 for an OBB nib, with agreement they would retain my never used, nor inked nib. "It is just our policy, you understand, we are NOT selling you a NEW nib, that would be a considerably higher charge."
The pen was returned with a nib that did not look significantly larger than the medium nib on my other 146, that I had also sent for level one service, repair of a faulty piston. I called & spoke to my same Agent & she checked the work order & agreed they had not installed what I had requested, nor what was on the work order she had turned in to the Service Department. I again paid Fed Ex's charge to return the pen, for it's second visit & later received the correct nib. I had to return it again last Summer, for reattachment of the small plastic ring that sits atop the section holding the nib, when it became loose & merely held in place by the nib itself.
I did receive my pen with the plastic ring reattached & felt lucky to have done so. I did however feel that this was not a level of service, I would have expected. I enjoy the two 146 pens, the only ones I have, but do not have any interest in purchasing more. Because these are merely the standard line of pens they offer, they are not however inexpensive, nor the cost of the nib replacement; I don't have interest to spend thousands more dollars to test whether the service would be improved by purchasing one of their Special Edition pens.
I wanted to & did, purchase a variety of pens from different manufacturers when I began this adventure; this is my only experience with Montblanc's service, but it is an experience I have not encountered with other pens from different companies. I consider having the nib of your choice to be a "given" when purchase of a pen & it should not become an experience described by previous posts in this thread. I offer my example as merely my experience when dealing with the one of their "lower price points," to show that it is perhaps not one that varies between "price points," @ the Texas facility, but is merely the average experience for some of us.
I feel very sad that having to return pens for a second service attempt seems to be almost as commonplace as not having to return them for another attempt.
I can confirm that I bought a new 147 from a 'non-boutique' source. However, it was obviously a brand new pen, and I had proof of my purchase. So it was sent to Montblanc (Hamburg) for a nib replacement via my favourite boutique from whom I mostly buy inks nowadays. That was returned with a replacement nib and there was no charge.
I now feel that I was extremely lucky.
I can no longer afford to buy Montblanc pens, and for now I'm happy to live with those that I have. Ultimately, they will be sold when I'm either too old, or no longer care, to write with them.