I hope you'll forgive me for being in a slightly cranky and disputant mood this morning.
Of course! We are all humans. We have moods and, that's perfectly OK. Even if you've written this answer while you were feeling perfectly positive, nothing would change on my part. We're just chatting and exchanging ideas here.
It's not that I think you are wrong, as such, but I do feel like you are overstating your case. And you do so rather eloquently, but I'm not going to balk at that. So here goes…
Thanks. I may be overstating, but it's not intentional.
There. That's what I mean. "They're not practical inks most of the time." That's overstatement. If they really weren't practical inks most of the time, most of us wouldn't be using them most of the time.
Most of us here are fountain pen nerds, and spending a little time fiddling with our pens is not something we view like a trip to the dentist.
Personally, I can see your point here and agree. Most of us are fountain pen nerds and, while I don't classify myself devoted as a nerd, fountain pens are my first choice while writing. I'm not dreading fiddling with my fountain pens. Actually I love that ritual. Filling, flushing, changing inks, understanding characteristics of a pen and ink combination is a long ritual I enjoy immensely while writing.
Really? Refreshing the ink in your pen every couple of days would kill your soul?
No, on the contrary. It's not that I don't want to take care of my pens. I love fiddling and taking care of my pens. The reality is my life is a bit busy and unpredictable. Sometimes I fly away for a week or so for business reasons. Often I work till late even if I'm home (loving research is definitely a curse, let me tell you ). When you're trying to finish something on time and you're working with a dragon breathing your neck, these duties inevitably slip. This is why I cannot risk using high maintenance inks. Damaging a pen or letting a full piston ink dry on my pen and go to waste is soul crushing for me.
Another reason is the paper that I have at hand. Not all paper I have is fountain friendly. Especially at work. So I have to use more modern and conventional writing tools. Because of this, fountain pens are a home-desk endeavor for me for some time.
I just feel like if they were truly "indeed perfect inks", then we wouldn't have the incredible scene in the ink market that we see today, and shopping for ink would be a lot more like it was when I started this hobby. It would be pretty much Sheaffer Skrip, Parker Quink, Pelikan 4001 and Waterman.
Inks can be analogous to cars, I think. Some of the inks are supercars. They have needs and uses. You may have the funds and love for the endeavor but, if you don't have the time to drive your supercar, how you can enjoy it? It's same for me. I can buy a gallon of Baystate or any exquisite iron gall and use it as intended. However, when I don't have the time, this joy becomes a burden. It's wasteful to get something and not use it with its full potential if you ask me.
New inks are modern marvels and they're wonderful. Even some chemistries are better than the older inks possibly. I would like to buy a saturated Diamine or Noodler's and use it till my hands bleed but as I said, I would like to properly use it if I'm gonna do it. I'm really happy that we have more ink colors than a high-end flat panel can display.
However, it almost sounds like you regret the last thirty years of ink developments. I definitely don't. If it weren't for Parker Penman and Noodler's, I'm not sure I would even have become a fountain pen user. The only fountain pen ink I knew in my younger old days was blue Skrip, and it wasn't doing much for me.
No, not a bit. As I aforementioned, on the contrary I'm thankful. The new colors may be drawing many in. I also love the new colors, especially dark greens and browns. Oldest formulas were not the safest either, to be honest. Not all people liked the old inks' colors or characteristics. I've grown with Mont Blanc standard blue (My father's choice) and 4001 washable blue (because, kids).
The point I was trying to make is "while there are super-inks and super-colors, some of the inks that we label as boring are some of the best-behaving inks even if you don't like its colors, let's not forget that". I was not trying to bash the newer producers, colors, chemistries even if some of them needs higher maintenance. If the post read as a "bashing to the newer inks", than I totally missed my point, and I'm sorry for that.