Right now, two threads away from this one is a thread with some complaining about Chinese pens, the complete opposite of Hi-End, are the worst and most troublesome
That's because there are people who are going to complain about *something* no matter what....
I have pens that are probably worth about $5 US. I have one pen for which I paid over $300. Am I glad I bought them? Yes. All of them. Because every time I learned something.
This is why, for all the 51s and Snorkels I've accumulated over the past 4-5 years, I'm still a sucker for Parker Vectors and my Noodler's Konrads. And for 2nd-tier brand vintage pens like Esterbrook and Morrison. You'd have to pry my Plum 51 out of my cold dead fingers -- but it doesn't actually see as much use as the Red Shadow Wave Vac Junior.... I love the M405 Stresemann -- but am thinking about maybe having the B nib reground to something like a cursive Italic because I think I like the B nib on my TWSBI 580-AL just a tad better (although size and weight-wise the M405 is a better for my hand -- the TWSBI is now my gauge for pen weight limit ).
The great thing about this hobby is that there is something for everyone. The guy who runs the mailing list for my local pen club hates hooded nibs. Some people don't like saturated inks. There are people who wouldn't buy anything that didn't have a "splat" on the finial -- and those of us who would buy anything BUT (although I've liked a couple of the inks). There are the so-called "c-worders" who have display cases on their walls -- and people who only have a couple of pens and don't understand why anyone who would want more than that, since you can't use them all over the course of a week. A couple of months ago at a pen club meeting we were trading away inks that we didn't like (and Ron Zorn, who only uses 4001 Royal Blue -- and 4001 Brilliant Black to be wild and crazy -- was kinda rolling his eyes all evening about having joined an "ink club" ). There are "posters" and "non-posters" and each side looks askance at the other... but in the long run we're ALL FP people....
And in spite of my friend Karl blaming his new hobby on me, I keep saying "Nope, you can NOT blame me for the desk pen sets! The Burgundy 51 Aero with the lovely stub nib? No, it's Burgundy, not Plum, but the nib is still pretty awesome. And yeah, that's a fair cop...."
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth
"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."