Jinhaos and others can often have flakey parts, but as hassle free writers they surpass the likes of the Lamy Safari and any Kaweco by a considerable margin. I thought that's what we were talking about. The drying out is a separate issue.
I have one Jinhao -- a metal bodied 599 (the Safari/al-Star clone), and IIRC it's got an F nib. It's okay, but tends to have hard starts, and I had to get a replacement converter because the first one got ink behind the gasket). I have one Safari (Dark Lilac, F nib). It's a way better pen, and has given me zero issues. As far as I'm concerned, the only really good things about the Jinhao were that: (1) it was free (someone gave me the pen; and (2) it taught me that I probably *could* get used to a triangular grip after all. I don't have a Kaweco -- I looked at the Sports a couple of years ago and decided that they weren't for me. If I could *afford* one, I'd get one of the Fireblue Lilliputs -- but have heard bad things about Kaweco converters, and you just can't turn a metal pen into an eyedropper.
I have a couple of Chinese pens that aren't bad -- a metal-bodied Guanleming Accountant, which is much better than you'd think a $5 pen would be; and a Wing Sung 237, which is pretty good. The Jinhao is "meh" (and the "Champagne Gold" color rivals the "Champagne Pink" color for Pilot Decimos for the "Ugliest Color on the Planet" contest). And the others? A Guanleming calligraphy pen (fude nib) which has an okay nib but the pen itself feels -- and looks -- cheap. A Guanleming demonstrator, which is such cheap plastic that when I caught the clip on the elastic in a pen case, it snapped the finial off the pen (well, it was only $5). And then there's the "Hero 616" which is probably a fake. It writes, but it's got an incredibly scratchy nib -- it's probably a $1 or $2 pen, and it writes like it is (a guy in my pen club ordered a 10 or 12 pack on eBay a couple of years ago, and was handing them out for free).
There is a difference between "cheap" and "inexpensive". The Guanleming Accountant and the Wing Sung 237 are in the latter category. But so are all my Parker Vectors and vintage Esterbrooks. Even the Wearever some guy at an antiques fair gave me (on the grounds that he claimed he couldn't sell it ) would fit that category. But the Jinhao, and the other two Guanlemings, and (especially) the "Hero"? Those are "cheap" and not in a good way. I class them with an Arnold I paid too much for.... They write, but it's not a particularly pleasant experience.
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth