I just bought my first pen that costs over ten dollars. It’s a refillable Parker ball point pen. It’s very nicely weighted, has a good grip for for someone with moderately-sized hands, and writes very fluidly. Black with metal (presumably steel) tip, neck, and rear, it’s just a joy to write with.
Readers should feel inclined to talk about their own amazing pens.
LeBoeuf fountain pen. I love fountain pens and have had many but the LeBoeuf is the one I reach for when I need ot perfect right now. It has the best ink flow and takes a beating without needing any real special attention.
Pilot makes a disposable fountain pen that I really like. I have several regular fountain pens that I keep calligraphy nibs on, but the disposable ones are good for my purse for everyday writing. Plus, a three pack comes with one black, one blue, and one purple, so I have an excuse to grade papers with a purple fountain pen which makes me feel pretty fabulous.
Let’s see - I have a parker-style ballpoint custom made pen w/a thick barrel that I love for the size & weight that I bought at an art festival, a gold Cross ‘ceramic tip’ likewise thick and I gave my daughter a Schaeffer Imperial Brass Fountain Pen for her college graduation.
The ‘Imperial Brass’ is probably the highest end, as it is one of the ‘white dot’ Schaeffers that has a lifetime guarantee - not just warranty. Guarantee. Anything goes wrong with it, ship it back and they’ll fix or replace it for life. I bought it from a pawnshop…
I love my Parker Jotter(with the super-tanker of all ink reservoirs), but it seems to me like they have started making the metal bodies more frail and less sturdy. I know this as I usually replace them once the pen gets lost/stolen and the newer ones, while still thin, have zero heft and have the snap resistance of a No2 pencil.
Their website lists a silver Sonnet that I might treat myself to in better times.
Not a fountain, but I also love the Precise V5 pen Pilot makes–they’re pretty cheap, flow evenly, and are comfortable to use. I do mixed media with ink over watercolor and it can really fuck up the ball point (especially when going over thicker deposits of paint), so I’ve gone through a lot.
My favorite pen was the first Flare-type highlighter, when they were first invented.
AAA had used felt-tip pens to mark maps, but they would continually dunk the pen in a glass of red or orange tinted water on their counter. When they first came as self-contained markers it was a modern miracle. The only ones were brilliant red-orange, and I would highlight changes on my coding sheets for IBM punch cards coded in Fortran. But sadly they showed up as black when copied on the heat transfer copy paper of the time, making my “highlighted” areas look blacked out instead, so I couldn’t keep a copy after I’d turned in my original to the punch card typists.
I like to write in brown ink. It’s my thing, and it makes my scribbles easy to identify in this predominantly blue/black/sometimes green or purple world. So I like any pen that comes with brown stuff inside. I used to mess around filling fountain pens, but got sick of inky fingers. Right now I have a Bic ‘Woodsy Brown’ felt tip, which is okay, and I think somewhere at home is my last Artline 0.4mm Fineline felt tip in brown. I may have to get family or friends to post me some more of these - Australia-specific, I believe.
A couple years ago I stopped at a garage sale, the seller had recently been given a couple truckloads of stuff that had belonged to her father. While digging through a box of stuff that was marked 5 cent for each item, I found a box of 20 new Fisher space pens. She gladly accepted a dollar for the whole box. I still have a couple, gave a few away as gifts and sold the rest on eBay for a handy profit.
I’ve always enjoyed using the Sharpie Ultra-Fine tip marker but it always seemed to dry out way too quickly for me. Now I’ve discovered that they now make a retractable model and I absolutely love it. It lasts 10 times longer than the capped model and I love the way it writes.