Actually, Gabe, I learned the hard way about Mont Blancs too. Back during the last great retail die-off, the '92 recession that killed half the tony stationery stores in New York, I picked up a Noblesse at 75% off ($75).
It was more a slim gold cigarette than a fountain pen. I loved to walk around poncy neighborhoods and scribble with it in tiny gold notebooks in kirschrot ink.
The nib was fine, the problem was the catch in the non-screw cap. I lost three shirts when it wore out after about three months. Oh and the inkwell adapter cartridge would flake out sometimes.
One year I used my bonus to spring for a Pelikan. Great nib, screw-top cap is a must, no complaints. It's not a mystery-beauty object, no, but all I really want out of the pen is that it write smoothly in a color I want to see shine then seal shut in the paper. You know.
Jordan - #