I've been mostly lurking around the forums, but I wanted to throw in my $.04 (usd with inflation). After coming back from Japan (where they have pen/pencil departments as big as their shoe departments), I gained a new perspective on pens/pencils. Favorite pencil: Sharp Kerry Really well-balanced and comfortable to hold. Not liable to stab oneself in the thigh. All-metal advancement mechanism. Compact. and Beautiful. Downside: only in .5 mm Fancier pencils may be heavier or fancier, but not much better built. I like the light weight and the mid-balance of the pencil. Other pencils owned/tried: Sharp drafting pencil, Alvin mechanical pencil, Pilot Dr. Grip, Zebra mini pencil, Pentel graphgear 500, Staedler 925, Lamy 2000, Caran d'arche, Ohto Tasche, Kuru TOga (really nice feed, but prone to thigh-stabbage) some other really fancy pencils at the Tokyo Loft and Tokyu Hands. Haven't tried: rotring 500, and probably some others Favorite stand alone pen: Ohto ceramic rollerball It's $18 in the US (if you can buy it). I EDC the bamboo one, because I can get another if I lose it. It's like a sword wrapped in chord--there's nothing fancy about it to get between you and your purpose. My fave is the extruded metal Ohto spirit, but is no longer made, so it stays in my room. It has a really smooth ink flow. The salesman at Montblanc preferred it to his fancier +$200 pens. Downside: ink can bleed Other pens tried: Montblanc (several types), various pentels and pilots, tombow, uniballs, zebras, AG Spalding, Suntory Malt, sensa cloud 9, ergo pen (hated this one), Fisher space pen, Varsity fountain pen Favorite pen: Pilot Platinium Double R3 Action It's 1500 jpy (~$16). It's also compact and has a fairly tough swivel action. The ink is smooth and non-bleeding. The pencil mechanism is fairly solid. The pen itself is really solidly made, with minimal rattling when you shake the brass barrel. It's also slim, understated, and elegant. Unlike gravity-based mechanisms (Ohto multipen), the swivel isn't too sensitive or fiddly (I had three Ohto multipens fail spontaneously). Unlike simple spring based mechanisms (Uniball jetstream, Zebra clip ons, Pilot Dr. Grip), there is no annoying hook to get caught on something. It's also far more solid and non-rattly than the Skarbo. Other pens tried: uniball jetstrem, Zebra clip ons, Pilot Dr. Grip, Pilot Platinum lacquer edition, zebra sarasa, Pilot 2+1, Papermate PhD, and tons of others MultiPens not tried: rotring, cross. "Cheap" pen: Uniball Signo The Uniball Signo does not bleed, writes really smoothly, and is well balanced. It comes in a large assortment of colors, is light, and inexpensive. Unlike fancier spring-loaded pens, the cap prevents ink from getting all over the place even if it does leak (which only happened once in 120 F weather in Davis). The only reason why I don't use this is because the Ohto flows nicer (but at 10x the price) and the multipen has a pencil built it. Anyways, these are my favorites. Anyone else care to chime in?