As you've seen here, there are going to be two main recommendations, the famous Parker 51, and the inexpensive and durable Lamy Safari. I agree, both these pens are awesome, however there are two things to note. The Parker 51 has been out of production for years, so be careful where you find the pen, you want either someone who has taken good care of one or a professional restoration, otherwise you could be spending money on what is essentially garbage. As for the Lamy, they are inexpensive and allow for nibs to be swapped out frequently, but you cannot fully disassemble them for a good cleaning. Unimportant to some, important for others (it makes it extremely hard to clean out dried ink (or even worse India ink) if you abuse your pen.
Here is what I'd recommend for you to look at with price ranges:
–Pros: Lightweight, inexpensive, and durable as hell. Constructed out of ABS plastic with an easily swappable steel nib, it's a good first pen choice.
–Cons: Cannot be fully disassembled, pen grip can be constrictive to people with alternative writing styles. Lefties might find the fine and x-fine nib to be scratchy. Steel nibs are quite thick and non-expressive. Both converter (not included), and cartridges are Lamy specific.
-Price: $25 for ABS, $45 for aluminium
–Pros: Legendary pen, with legendary comfort, smoothness, and all around swagger. Because of its popularity, it is an easy pen to get fixed, as well as have the nib ground and customised.
–Cons: They maybe common, but take caution in where you buy them. Professional restorations, fountain pen forums are probably your best places to shop.
-Price: Fluctuates, $50-250 depending on style, rarity, condition.
Namiki/Pilot Vanishing Point:
–Pros: It's a clickable fountain pen with a retractable nib, an 18k gold nib. Made of brass, the body has weight to it and feels very sturdy. The construction of the pen makes it impossible for ink to leak in a pocket. It's portable, convenient, and a reliable everyday writers for people constantly jotting notes and need continence in a pen.
-Cons: A bit longer then some pens, and the pocket clip is mounted right on the pen grip. Namiki converters do not hold as much ink as others, and you cannot see the amount of ink in the pen when using a converter. Both converters and cartridges are Namiki/Pilot specific.
-Price: US models: $130 standard colours, $140 matte black, $200+ limited edition. (There is the Japanese version of the pen with a slightly different body that sells for around $160, and Namiki makes a high end one with a twist retractable nib for $250).
–Pros: The closest you can get to a traditional fountain pen, the enter Pelikan line is manufactured very similar to how fountain pens have been made for decades. This model uses lightweight plastic, a steel nib, and writes nicely. Good if you want a classic, no fuss fountain pen.
–Cons: Maybe too light for some, and because of the twist refill system (basically a converter build into the pen), you cannot use cartridges.
-Price: $100-$150 depending on style, availability.
-Pros: Quite possibly the most expressive and truly fine nib out there. A soft golden nib, writes beautifully, and fluctuates with pressure. Great for people who really care about penmanship or want something with a lot of expression. This pen is also very light.
–Cons: Flexible gold nib is easy to damage, x-fine nib may feel scratchy. Converter and carriages are Namiki/Pilot specific.
Parker Sonnet (w/ gold nib) $200 Buy On Amazon
Levenger True Writer $60-100) Buy On Amazon
Carbon Desk Pen (w/ converter) $25 Buy On Amazon
Waterman Hémisphère (w/ steel nib) $50-100 Buy On Amazon
Bic Junior (hard to find outside France) €10
Waterman Carene $250-300 Buy On Amazon
Namiki Murex (discontinued) $250-400+
Hope this list gives you some ideas. Come on over to the Fountain Pen Network and see what else there is out there. People will say you can loose a pen, I've never lost one through college and high school. A well love fountain pen truly can last a lifetime and can continue to be loved generations down the line.