I have enjoyed reading this thread, and I appreciate the insights shared.
Inspired by others on FPN and partly out of curiosity I bought a red Chinese Sonnet. Looked nice, and so I wondered if it might perform okay as an everyday, take me with you anywhere pen. When the pen arrived I discovered that the nib was defective... more than a little. Specifically, the capillary channel was very wide all the way to the tip of the nib. If I held the nib up, ink would run out of the nib back to the frontpiece. It was hard to start because the very tip of the nib had a V shaped end, an order of magnitude worse than what our fellow Forum Members call "baby butt." See letter "a." in sketch below.
Letter "b." is a better representation of what I was hoping for but did not get.
Thinking "Well, I just got a lemon" I ordered one more, this time in black. Same problem with the wide capillary channel to the end. But this pen had one tine significantly longer than the other. See letter "c." in sketch below.
It took a considerable amount of coaxing, grinding, and polishing to get these pens to work. They are both serviceable, but I am sure that anyone who does not know anything about tuning nibs would be very, very unhappy with what I received. I am now wondering if there is a source for replacement nibs that could be fitted to Chinese fake Sonnets (other than Parker's real gold nibs). I haven't found any.
Finally, like some others, I came to this conclusion: If one wants an affordable Chinese pen which was inspired by the Parker Sonnet, he/she should consider the Baoer 388. It's under USD $3. It looks great. It works well. Its standard No. 5 nibs are easily found and replaced. It takes a universal cartridge or converter. It's not a shameless fake. For the meantime the 388 is my take me with you anywhere pen. It's the horizontal pen in the photo.
Edited by hankosaurus, 10 August 2020 - 00:32.