Traveling to Paris and need info on getting a Paris Visite card

I will be going to Paris later this year and wanted to get a Paris Visite card which enables you to get unlimited rides on their metro system.
I looked on their Web site and it says you can get them at any ticket vending machine in any station, but that if you buy them from a machine you have to go to a ticket office and get a black non-transferable card to go with it.
My question is what if the station you buy one from isn’t manned? Can you just use the ticket to get to a station that is manned and get the non-transferable card there? Or does it even really matter and is it more of a formality?
I’ll be staying near the Pernety station, if that helps. Does anyone here know if that particular station is manned? And if not, what the closest manned station to there is?

We found the Paris public transportation staff to be incredibly helpful and understanding. We didn’t the Visite card and opted instead for the 10 pack of tickets, but I don’t think I ever saw an unattended Metro station- they seem to be a combination European (all honor system) and NYC (low gates).

You can get it in the airport if you happen to arrive that way. The ticket office has long queues often, thou. If you take the taxi to the hotel, you can ask there which stations are manned, I think they are all.

I’m fairly sure all the Metro stations are manned. The bigger stations (Chatelet, the airport, la Defence) will probably have longer queues, but any Metro station can sell them. You do need the gubbins that comes with it - the ticket itself isn’t valid without having the number on the black thingy written on it, as I remember. If you get stopped for a ticket check, the RATP can fine you for travelling without a valid ticket. (Though, arguably, they wouldn’t bother if you’re obviously a tourist. But you might catch them in a bad mood.)

I’d get a couple of single tickets from a machine to get you from the airport/train station to wherever you’re staying, then go to the nearest metro to your accomodation and buy a Paris Visite from the person behind the counter. (They can be a little brusque. Try not to take it personally, they hate everyone, it’s not just you.)

I suggest you check prices before you go. We got daily tickets; they cost less per day than the three-day pass (because they were only for the central city, which was the only place we were using them, anyway).

Oh, and if you can’t get the tickets at a station, many drugstores sell them (for a slight markup). We had problems getting ours at one station (it wouldn’t accept our credit card). We went into a drugstore for change, but when we explained it was for the Metro, they sold us tickets there.