This might be a matter of taste. Last time I tried a Meisterstück in the shop, I didn't like the nib at all and bought an OMAS instead. It was more expensive but it's still the best modern pen I own, at least according to my taste.
I started writing my 2017 résumé with my vintage 1950s MB 144, which is a family heritage, just to be sure that I'm not mislead by my poor memory. No, my memory was right. The build quality is superb, great celluloid, built like a tank, and a fascinating "telescoping piston mechanism". But this vintage pen is just so-so as a writer. It is one of the extremely few vintage pens in my extensive collection that suffers from starvation after writing a page. I also don't like the feeling of the nib, though the line it puts down looks nice (it's an OB nib). Almost any other of my 1950s pens is a better performer but none of them was as expensive. As a comparison, a Pelikan 400 was 25 DM in the 1950s while the MB 144 was 45 DM (German marks). My 1950s Pelikans feel WAY nicer than the MB 144 and so do my Kawecos and Osmias. The same is true for earlier and later periods of time. The one outstanding MB writer I have is a 254 which is up to par with the others of that period.
So, is it performance or status?
'50 -60's the dollar was 4 DM to one $....and the Snorkel was as expensive at $12-14 as an MB.
There was a time I knew nothing about MB but the 146-9. I won an 'ugly' pen in a live auction four pen lot. I didn't know what KOB was OB with a Kugal....flat on the bottom so you could write 'regular' ball on top if you wanted to hold it like a pencil/ball on top of the nib.....ball points were just coming in in 1952-4 only when this standard sized MB 234 1/2 Deluxe was made. Due to balance, girth and the semi-flex KOB nib, it rapidly grew on me.
The 'ugly' pen had very good balance....a slightly wider girth and a real fun nib....sort of more a M than a modern B.
Thanks to Lambrou's book I found out it was the refined version of the pre-war 139....which I'd not known about until I got that book. Do get his '89 book....some folks are disappointed in the later edition.
Suddenly it was no longer an 'ugly' pen.
I was only after the 400nn, not the 450MP& 455 BP. I'd never ever liked MP's....until this one . I had been contaminated by the massive hate of everything MB. I knew the MB would make the auction lot cost more. . Not that I wanted it....I was going to sell it and the MB&BP to get some of my money back. I had checked out the price of the MP&BP on German Ebay.....in at that time 170 Euros was way the hell over my limit.)
There was massive hate of MB on this com....the only think liked was the ink bottle after one emptied the so called ink out............real hate of MB.
The joke was on me. I looked up that MB 234 1/2 Deluxe and it was 'worth' E200 then.....later I've seen them priced at $500 and just last year....a few months ago, there is some pirate that wants only $900 on 'Buy Now Idiot.)
At that priceI'm willing to sell.
Years later, I'd just tried the 450 mechanical pencil....and for 6 weeks used only it and no fountain pen. The ball point is typical '50's ball point....nothing worth buying....IMO... I did live in the mid-late '50-60's ball point era.
The 400nn OF actually had a maxi-semi-flex nib.....but I'd not discovered that flex set yet. For a while that MB was my number one pen, the 400nn the second....from the same auction.
My three perfect balanced pens which I worried about then when I was more noobie, was that MB, a thin medium-large Geha 725 and a P-75.....the 400nn coming in at @ #4 in balance. took me a couple of years to decide the medium-large 400nn was slightly better balanced than the standard 400.
I had wanted not only the semi-flex I have with the Deluxe but wanted a maxi-semi-flex in MB which I had in other pens...Pelikan, Geha and Osmia. When I got the rolled gold MB742 home I found its nib to lay between semi-flex and maxi-semi-flex.....the only nib I have that is so....26 semi-flex, 16 maxi's which basically clump together in each's set...and one in between.
It took me a while to luck into a medium-large 146 from the '50-60 era with a maxi-semi-flex nib. I like the great balance of the medium-large pen.....much more than my '70-80 regular flex Large 146.
Omas.....That 144 should be sent in for repair....in it should not be starving....there could be a problem with the gasket. Do you cant the nib? Hold up to the light and check.....If a 15 degree grind, post the cap so the clip is aligned exactly between the slit and the right hand edge. Then re-grip the pen before putting it to paper.
If a rarer 30 degree grind, align the clip to the right hand edge of the nib....re-grip and write.
In either, the angle of cant required is right, when using the clip to aim with.
MB 234 1/2 Deluxe (52-54 only.) The regular 234 1/2 is affordable and will have a very nice semi-flex nib. Difference in clip, and cap band....regular has two cap rings.