Hope everyone is still in one piece after all the atrocious weather we've been enjoying on both sides of the 'lantic. Unfortunately the grey weather is playing havoc with my reliance on natural lighting, so this is dismal photography indeed. The Pilot blue is an excellent, rich and vivid blue, trust me. Just not in this case...
Anyway, the new year is often a time of belt tightening, and as such we have a bit of a budget theme going here. Generally the Noodler's Nib Creaper would be the cheap option in many fountain pen gatherings, but here it's by far the priciest at something over a tenner. It's way smaller than I realised; not dissimilar to the GB Parker Victory and Junior, but slimmer. I'm much taken by it, and the nib is the best yet of the Noodler's I've tried. Which reminds me, I used the Noodler's Ahab and Pelikan blue-black for the title - I've tweaked its flex even more, and now it's pretty nearly exactly how I wanted it, so huzzah.
I think the Pilot disposable may be clearance stock because they've changed its appearance, and thus it was much cheaper than usual, and thus I bought one to try because people rave about them. In all honesty I find the idea of a disposable fountain pen an anathema, even if you can (by somewhat laborious means) refill it. I will happily say it's the blobbiest line and thus worst Pilot nib I've ever used, which is comforting as I'd started to think Pilot were infallible.
The purple "demonstrator" was the result of a pen failure via Amazon - got sent the wrong pen, and after a small delay while the seller suggested I defraud the Post Office in order to return it, which I declined, they eventually said "keep it" rather than pay for the return postage. Which, given how much I see you can pay for one (pour example, ici) versus what they wanted to charge for it, I can fully understand. And it's... okay. It wouldn't be a total disaster if you were saddled with one of these for school, but the slip on cap problem, if ubiquitous, would get old very quickly.
The clear bargain for me is the Sheaffer-a-like from the "Deluxe Pen Set". Yes, it's fairly cheap plastic and probably breaks several health and safety rules by having indentations in the cap instead of actual breather holes, but the clip is sturdy, the grip is comfortably rubbery, and the nib is good. Pens costing fifty times as much and more regularly come with the nib tines out of alignment, so I refuse to damn it for that. It wrote, and that's the important thing. Add in a couple of not bad ballpoints for the money, and it's a total steal. Of course, another example might be utterly useless and a complete waste of money, but thems the breaks at the bottom of the barrel.
So there ya go; my ready response if anyone says fountain pens are too expensive. What my excuse is for my fascination with these budget pens though, I have no idea.