The first school I attended issued stick pens and appointed ink monitors, which doesn't happen anymore and depending on your point of view (and age), is either a good thing or a bad thing!
I also remember it being a lottery as to whether you'd be given an instrument with a totally wrecked nib or a chewed shaft -made doubly worse because the teacher only handed out replacement parts on the occasion of a royal birth or coronation!
Anyway, I must be getting old, because the other day I had to spend ten minutes trying to explain to a young shop assistant what blotting paper was - and the store in question was a stationers! Even worse, I live in a city with a population now approaching 2 million souls and as far as I can tell, there are only two outlets left in town that actually still stock the stuff!
Personally, I still prefer pen & ink and for everyday use and generally carry a Sheaffer Connaisseur, which I've owned since new. I also have a fluted silver Sheaffer Targa, which was given to me on my birthday some years ago. Unfortunately the nib is fine (which I don't enjoy) and replacements are pretty difficult to source in my neck of the woods. I also still keep a stick pen and large selection of nibs, which I use for calligraphy.
I recently acquired a flex nib for my calligraphy hobbies and enjoyed it so much, I decided to purchase a Conway Stewart "Winston" fountain pen from the British Bespoke Pen Company in London. These fountain pens now come with what is referred to as a "Semi Flex"nib, which I'm hoping will be a happy compromise for everyday use. I was attracted to the "Winston" because (a) the Conway Stewart pens will soon be a thing of the past,once all the original parts are consumed and ( the Winston model is a very large oversized pen, which will better suit the "meat plate" variety of hands I'm stuck with. I also have to say that the Winston model pen exhibits some of the finest workmanship that I have ever seen, so I hope it performs well and that I will enjoy owning it.
Many thanks to the sponsors of this excellent website, which offers quality information and assistance to those seeking it. I hope I can contribute some useful information of my own as time goes by.