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  1. This is a little bit of a spin on the thread involving the opposite idea. There are plenty of pens out there that have bad reviews and that have less than favorable images, and yet there are still people out there who love them. Some lucky pens which have poor reputations among most fountain pen users also have small, but dedicated contingents of fans. This thread is for those fans of the much maligned, often dismissed, or frequently snubbed fountain pens out there. Let's show those hated pens some love! For me, there are a couple of pens that always seem to get slammed on that I love. The first is Cross. I love Cross pens! Fountain pens, ballpoints, rollerballs, whatever. If it comes from Cross, I probably have a soft spot for it. Their pens have huge price ranges for no readily apparent reason (is a sterling silver Century II REALLY worth $250 more than its simple chrome brother?), their QC is a little spotty, and they do not offer a factory italic/stub option, but Cross is still the brand that comes to mind when I think of a luxurious pen. The other pen that springs to mind is the Lamy Safari. Yes, I know that the Lamy Safari has a lot of fans, but I don't just love the pen in general, I love every part of the pen. I think the triangular section is perfect (and fits the way that I hold the pen as if it were made specifically for me), I love their 1.1 italic nib, I think the large ink window is an excellent idea, and I think that the clip is cool. The only thing that I don't love about the Safari is the price, but even that can be overcome if your eBay-fu is strong (thanks in part to a slight mistake in the posting I managed to buy my current white safari WITH a converter and free shipping for less than $20, and got a 1.1 nib for $10). So, let's here from the silent minority! What pens do you love that everyone else seems to hate? What fountain pen is your guilty pleasure? Let the love flow!
  2. When I first stumbled upon this enabling site I quickly noted that there was a set of fountain pens considered to be 'great' in terms of value, ease of purchase and use. Some of them I had and others I didn't. Seeing that a lot of them tend not to be in the expensive category (although a few do creep that direction) I indulged. Naturally, my expectations for these pens was quite high, so the disappointment factor was unnaturally exaggerated. After about four of these great, crashing disappointments I began to wonder what on earth anyone saw in these 'wonder pens' and what was it about me that didn't seem to 'get it'. I thought it might be an idea to redress the balance - hence this thread. I will start the ball rolling with three pens that everyone and anyone seemed to give high praise to, but I ended up loathing. First up for consideration is the Pilot 78G. It's tiny. Yes, that is a personal preference for some, but I like big pens. It doesn't hold a great deal of ink and it loves to leak. I read a few more reviews - nothing but elegant praise - and bought another one. It leaked in the same way. I gave it one more try. It also leaked and the nib was horrible. I ended up really annoyed at wasting my time and money on what looked and felt and acted like a cheap nasty pen. Second offering is the Pilot Metropolitan. Now before you go all crazy, I have nothing against Pilot. In fact, I have a Pilot Falcon and an 823 Custom, both of which rate very highly in my pen collection. This one, on the other hand, was just damned ugly. The balance is a tad curious and that sharp step makes it the most irritating pen I have ever used. The nib is amazing, I will give it that - if only I could stick it on a different pen. Last, but by no means least, the greatest disappointment of all, the Parson's Italix. It regularly gets very high praise here. I bought the nice amber coloured one and it is a lovely colour. I like it's little celtic patterns on the furniture. Then I picked it up. Boy is it a heavy pen. Normally I don't mind heavy pens at all; in fact I tend not to like pens that are too light, but this was just clumsy. This, however, was not my main issue. This pen is often described as having a truly great nib and certainly the website does have a bewildering set of options. I went for a fairly big stub, but it writes like a felt tip pen. It has absolutely zero line variation. It's nice and smooth, but it aint no stub. All in all, it has still been a useful exercise. I don't necessarily regret buying these pens, but I do regret parting with the cash. It has taught me that one person's pleasure is another person's poison and when it comes to buying pens reviews can be very useful but they can't always be the main factor in a purchase.
  3. Before I got into fountain pens, I absolutely hated them. I had always like pens, pencils and stationery. My favourite was the Pilot G2 when I had first used a fountain pen. The first fountain pen I had ever used was a "cartridge pen" from Tesco: http://images3.mysupermarket.co.uk/ProductsDetailed/78/284178.jpg?v=4 It was terrible. Ink dropped out of the nib, the ink colour was washed out and it feathered and bled through and paper. (Recently I discovered that the pen and ink bleeds and feathers on Clairefontaine!) From this experience, I thought all fountain pens were like this. I had no idea there was such a vast range of fountain pens and how much they cost. A few years later, I was given some money as a gift, so I decided to get a Parker (my mother praised Parker a lot, and she wasn't even a pen enthusiast). I got a Parker Jotter ballpoint after doing much research. It was the most expensive pen I ever had, at £6. Some time later, I discovered Uni-Ball Jetstreams- the best ballpoint you will ever use. After that discovery, I got really into pens. I was into ballpoints, rollerballs, gel pens, felt-tip pens, but not fountain pens. I still thought they all behaved the way the Tesco pen did. When I saw prices of fountain pens, I couldn't believe it. They were enormously more expensive than regular pens. I also discovered bottled ink online, and my interest grew a bit. What made me want a fountain pen was a small stationery shop. I was in there when I saw a few fountain pens and bottles of ink. Suddenly, for some reason I really wanted a fountain pen! I did some web-surfing and discovered that fountain pens were awesome! After loads of research, I decided I wanted a Lamy Safari with a converter, and a bottle of Diamine Oxblood for Christmas. And that's how I got into fountain pens. Sorry for the long post. Here's a aesthetically pleasing pen: http://www.conwaystewart.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Churchill-Bracket-Green-FP.jpg





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