These are the top five pens that I am currently using. This list reflects my own personal preferences and not necessarily the pens that I would recommend to someone else. This list is subject to change at any moment as I continually discover new pens and change my mind.
The Pentel Slicci has it all: fine point, smooth writing abilities, attractive appearance, and, I must admit, nerd appeal. Although I enjoy most colours of the Pentel Slicci, blue black is one of my favourite "basic" pen colours, black being too conventional, and blue being simply too...blue.
That said, a basic black, fine, permanent, felt-tipped pen is essential. The black Sharpie Pen is usually my first choice when making some quick notes or a sketch in my sketchbook journal, especially if I plan to go over it with watercolour later. The only problem with these types of pens is that the tips do tend to get wider with age (but then, don't we all?).
My basic note-taking pen for school. I tend to use larger-ruled notebooks and to write larger in these situations, making a 0.7mm line width acceptable. Overall this is a fine basic gel pen that writes smoothly, is reasonably comfortable to use, and is a bit classier-looking than the similar Pilot G-2.
This pen is a joy to write with; it writes smoothly, has an excellent long grip, and is a delightful shade of deep violet. Every since I received my new set of Pentel Slicci pens it has been sadly neglected, so this post has been a reminder that I need to put it to use again.
This pen writes with a deep rich shade of blue and is excellent for writing on index cards, because the liquid ink flows smoothly, allowing me to write quickly (I use index cards for study cards, and making them is a dull task, so I like to get it done quickly), and does not bleed through on the heavier paper of index cards as it does on ordinary notepaper.
Sketches of the top five pens, drawn with the pens. Please ignore the too-small cap of the Sharpie Pen, the bent tip and overly large size of the Signo RT, and the bend in the body of the Hi-Tecpoint. These characteristics are due to deficiencies in the author's sketching ability and are not present in the actual pens.