I did alot of research on fountain pens about a year ago. Depending on how much effort you want to put into this, there are some fountain pen forums and googling brings up useful info. As I recall, many of the people really into pens sort of frown on the Mont Blancs as over-priced for their quality and a sign that someone doesn't really know about pens - but then if the point is only to try to impress people who don't know much about pens, the Mont Blanc has the cachet. Omas pens are very good. I have a Paragon that is an absolutely great writer and that I think is much more elegant than the Mont Blancs. Pelikans are also considered excellent and the Pelikan Souveran series gives you a wide range of choice in size/price (bigger=pricier). I have a 400 which is one of the smaller ones and it writes very well. I tried an Aurora Optima in a store and if I were going to make another pen purchase, that would be the one. Ideally you would want to find a pen shop that has some of these for you to try different brands in different nib sizes, but a local shop is probably going to be completely uncompetitive with online prices, so you probably want to try them out locally and buy them online if that does not present ethical problems for you. Once you get a fountain pen, you will realize that the kind of ink you choose will make a big difference and there is much information on inks available online. Mont Blanc ink is no good. Aurora ink is generally considered one of the best - I use Aurora black in my Omas and Pelikan. And then you will find that the kind of paper you write on makes a difference. There are a lot of opinions as to what paper is best and some people make their own pads. Rhodia pads work well for me. You might also take a look at fountainpenhospital.com. So, to summarize, my opinion, FWIW, is that you will get better quality at a better price with Omas, Aurora or Pelikan than with Mont Blanc.