Back at the Atlanta Pen Show, I purchased a ... gasp ... ballpoint pen. First things first, I'm not one of those pen snobs who never uses ballpoints. They have their place, but my primary beef with ballpoints is that I have small handwriting, and most ballpoints come in 1.0mm widths or broader. Plus the ink in the cheaper models tends to blob. That aside, a good ballpoint pen is one of the more useful tools that you can have with you at any given time. They write on more or less any surface, the ink tends to dry quickly and be permanent, and they don't dry out immediately if you leave the cap off the pen.
Other than my Tactile Turn Mover with a Uniball Jetstream refill, the Lamy 2000 is the only ballpoint pen that I use on a regular basis. (The Jetstream I really don't even consider to be a true ballpoint pen--it has more in common with a gel pen, and the .38mm refill is a personal fave.) The Lamy looks great, has perfect proportions for shirt pocket or pants pocket carry, and is reliably built. The ballpoint features the same Macrolon (polycarbonate) material as the fountain pen, and the two look particularly sharp when carried together. My favorite feature of my ballpoint, however, is this:
You read that right: West Germany. I have no idea how old this pen is, but at a minimum I would think it predates German reunification in 1990 (or was manufactured shortly thereafter, before Lamy had a chance to change their mark). A cool piece of history and one of many reasons why you should attend pen shows!
As others have pointed out, the one weakness of the Lamy ballpoint is the refill (or at lease the older Lamy refills that are still out there on the market). I picked up the blue "Fine", which writes an adequately narrow line, but the refill itself tends to fall on the light side for me. I suspect that the refill I purchased at the pen show is simply old, because others who have recently purchased a Lamy ballpoint refill have been pleasantly surprised.
The Lamy 2000 ballpoint retails for $50-65, and you can find it on Amazon from multiple sellers. Curiously, I also noticed what appears to be a limited edition Lamy 2000 ballpoint in woodgrain that I've never seen before. (Anyone know what the story is on that--from what I can tell there's not a fountain pen equivalent?)
While I'm at it, I also have to brag a bit about this, which I just received in the mail from Renee at Scriptorium Pens. I'm inking it up today and can't wait to use it and get my thoughts up on the blog!
DISCLAIMER: I purchased the pens featured i this review with my own funds, for my own collection. This post also contains affiliate links.