I've been quite disillusioned by many things in my EDC life, like over priced and over hyped knives, guns, and watches, and now pens. I've tried most of them and very few ever came up to the level of pure reliability of the Bic pen. Like the Bic lighter, they always work. Now I have great respect for the cheap Paper Mate stickpin that is their take on the Bic round stick pen. This morning I was walking my dog. Not an unusual thing, we do this several times a day. This morning I was taking a short cut through an ally in back of a shopping center. Like most alleys, there was trash around, litter on the ground. It had thunder stormed last night, so some fresh wash down gravel was here and there. As I was walking, there sticking up out of some fresh sand/gravel was a dark gray pen. I thought it was a Bic round stick but I pulled it up and saw the Paper Mater brand on the translucent body. Just for yuks, I shook it off and took the pad out of my shirt pocket, uncapped the pen and drew a line. I was amazed. From the first contact on the paper, the pen made a nice clear, solid black line. Unreal. laying in the trash of an alley after a thunder storm it still wrote smooth and fine. I guess the Paper Mate pens are as good as the old standby Bic. If Paper Mat starts making lighters, Bic could be in trouble. With the unreal reliability of the modern cheap pens, is it worth it to spend more than a few cents per unit for the bulk pack of Bic or Paper Mate pens? Has modern production technology made the expensive stuff not worth it, like a 14.95 Casio watch vs an expensive Seiko?