Just buy the expensive one
Clicky PostGourmet PensVendors (this is not an endorsement by the mods):Goulet Pen CompanyI here with a little Pandora Silver Gold Yellow Pandora Flower Bead Diamond Heart White Charm 284 bit of advice for the newbies. I a newbie too (I used FPs my whole life, and own a few high end ones as well, but it only been a year since I visiting and participating in online fountain pen communities).
So please bear in mind that my advice is not for everyone. But if you are not interested in building a collection of fountain pens and just want to have something beautiful and pleasant to write with, read on.
Many people come here, or on FPN, read the sidebar / FAQ / stickies, and go buy a Lamy Safari or Pilot Metropolitan, for $30 or $15. Because it is a good "starter pen" Pandora Flower Bead Diamond Heart White which is true! For all the practical reasons, either of them is a great choice as a writing instrument.
After a couple of months of use, they come back and ask what the next level. They used the Safari, they liked it, but they want something better now, and more elegant looking. People usually point them to the TWSBIs, usually the Mini or the Classic. And they pull the trigger, buy the pen, and become $50 poorer.
They use this one for a while, but they still not satisfied with it. They would love a Faber Castell, or a Diplomat, but they don consider themselves "ready" for this kind of pen. so they stick to their imaginary budget and Pandora Flower Bead Diamond Heart White buy what they consider "the next level", which is usually a vintage Sheaffer or Pandora Murano Glass Bead 248 Parker for like 100 bucks.
Look, man. We between friends here. You WON be satisfied until you buy the one you really want. I know it costs $300, but when you have it you be finally content with your writing instrument. If you buy what you consider to be your "level max", you become one with your pen and stop feeling like something still missing.
"But PlZZA, I just DON have $300 lying around. I can only afford a Safari right now". Well, unless the Safari is your dream pen, my advice would be to abstain from buying it. Save your money. If you go ahead and keep buying pens you don completely love, just because you can afford something better, you won be happy.
It is cheaper to just go ahead and buy your $500 dream fountain pen than to spend a decade building an unpleasant collection of pens you don truly love.
"Well, I have around 20 fountain pens right now. 2 Safaris, a TWSBI 580, four Jinhaos, a vintage Parker 51 and Sheaffer Imperial with a cracked section, a Monteverde tool pen. boy I Pandora Flower Bead Diamond Heart White wish I could afford a Waterman Carene Marine Amber GT. but can really afford to shell out $300 for it right now." Well, guess what, mate. if you didn spend $600 for 20 pens that were "all you could afford back then", you could have your dream Waterman and feel truly happy with your choice.
Just save. And save, and save, and save. Are you a poor college student? Awesome. Don buy a Safari or a TWSBI, unless that all you ever wanted. Save your money. Eat out less, buy 50% less Steam games, save the cash you get from your parents on your birthday, and in a year or so you have a high end fountain pen you will keep and love for life. Meanwhile use an eyedropper Platinum Preppy.
Just don get stuck in that never ending cycle of "save $50, blow it all on a fountain pen similar in quality to what you already have, Thomas Sabo Bracelets Black Obsidian 028 then save $50 more, do it again. all while drooling over Faber Castell, Visconti, Omas, or Waterman.