I know I reviewed Noodler's "Dark Matter" with both a Cross ATX and Lanbitou 866 fountain pen earlier on this blog, but I've since found another combination that works exceptionally well.
Lamy makes a mostly-plastic fountain pen called the Safari, and while it isn't the most classical looking thing, the fit, form and function are top notch. I purchased my fine nib Safari, plus converter, on Amazon.com over the holidays thanks to a sale offer that found its way to my email. The price was right, and my bottle of Dark Matter was still pretty full, so what the heck?
My first impression upon arrival was that the pen was really light. So light, in fact, that I don't like writing with it unless it's posted - otherwise the balance is way off. My next impression was that the converter reservoir was very generous in capacity. It holds a lot of ink, much more so than my Cross. That's a Good Thing when I'm writing 20+ page engineering reports longhand, so Lamy gets bonus points from me right there. Having a couple clear windows in the barrel to view the ink levels doesn't hurt, either.
The fine steel nib has a dark oxide finish that complements the charcoal color of the barrel and cap. There aren't a lot of frills or flourishes on this pen, and the most "artsy" part of the Safari is probably the wire pocket clip. That's not a real problem for a daily-use pen, and the ergonomics of the Safari design more than make up for any lacking aesthetics. The triangular barrel section that interfaces with the writer's fingers and thumb are perfectly shaped, and the nib fairly glides over the paper with nary a thought. The scratchiness of the Lanbitou 866 and occasional edge grab of the Cross ATX are long things of the past with the Lamy Safari pen.
I have noticed that Noodler's "Dark Matter" is very flowy in this pen, while still being smooth and very dark in color. Not quite gushing ink, mind you, but one has to wait just a few seconds to allow the ink to dry before stacking other documents on the just-written page, but it's actually quicker to dry than our company-provided UniBall Gel pens. The latter smear quite horribly in comparison to the Safari/Dark Matter combination.
I'm inclined to believe the light weight and ergonomics of the Safari combine to make this an enjoyable pen, reducing fatigue when writing for extended periods. From my own, somewhat limited experience with fountain pens, this makes for a great value when one's writing so much that refillable fountain pens eclipse the practice of buying ballpoint refills. Kudos to Lamy for their Safari pen, and kudos to Noodler's for their Dark Matter ink!