First Impressions (4/5)
The M400 comes in a decent presentation box - completely typical for Pelikan. Of course the pen itself is rather atypical for this conservative brand. I had seen plenty of pictures online, and the pen lived up to them in person.
The pen looks better in person than it does in images. The barrel features tortoiseshell stripes and is quite transparent when empty. You can definitely see the piston move - it's almost a demonstrator. Cap and blind cap are white. Pelikan adorned the M400 with plenty of gold bands - I especially appreciated the band on the nib-ward end of the section. The nib is finely finished and beautiful, with crisply defined tones and an extremely solid, luxurious look. This is a flashy, elegant pen.
The cap posts securely, the pen is extremely light, the clip works, what more could you want? It's a very small pen, but I find it well balanced and very nice with the cap posted. If you don't post the cap you may find it too short.
Out of the box this nib wrote amazingly well. Smooth, stiff, just a little feedback from the paper - it's remarkably like driving a VW (or another precise, delightful German car). I bought it in F, and it's a true fine. Flow was excellent, just right (maybe a 6 on the 1-10 scale).
I bought my M200 from Richard Binder, and this M400 came from Pam Braun. The steel Binder nib has a bit of an edge over the stock M400 nib, but the M400 pen is smooth and nearly perfect without any professional adjustment. Plus it's gorgeous looking.
Filling System (5/5)
Pelikan piston - reliable, fun (in the nerdy way that fill mechanisms are fun), capacious. Nothing new here, but it's pretty much perfected.
Cost and Value (6/5)
This pen was $107 shipped second day from Pam Braun. Why aren't you getting out your wallets? (No affiliation)
A well-designed, stunning, flawless performing pen. Some FPNers have reported cracks in the cap. I've had the pen less than a day so I can't comment, but I should say that Pam was willing to check the pen out for this problem before shipping.
Edited by asamsky, 26 February 2008 - 14:10.