One of the things that draws me to fountain pens is for a single pen to be all the things that you need, just by changing the nib or ink and keeping the pen. When it comes to rollerballs and biro's, there isn't the same utility, same nib no matter what, and only using refills that come in a particular set of colours.
Although what arrived this morning is at least a step in the right direction towards redressing the balance, if only from the ink side of things.
This is a J Herbin refillable rollerball.
It uses standard international cartidges, the extended cartridges are too long for the barrel (which is a shame as they'd have extended the writing time significantly), but it can use the micro piston refills that can be obtained (as evidenced) if so desired. The one thing it can't do is use the normal method of refilling by placing the nib in the ink and pulling the piston up, as the ball in the nib is sucked backwards by the vacuum and seals the barrel of the pen.
The line is a regular .5mm similar to that found on most regular biros, but the flow is faster and more even than a Biro of the same size. The ball does not allow the ink to continue to flow, and it writes in all ways similar to a Biro, down to the ink not pooling beneath the pen when at rest. It's well constructed, but very light, making it feel, again, very much like a Biro.
So what's to recommend about it?
For me, being the writing nut that I am, it's a way to pass on to other people the joy of having such vibrant colours to put on the page without having to learn how to use a fountain pen first, from there, I can move to the easier fountain pens, and then on from there to the customised versions that I use every day.
But it gets them interested in the joy of writing...
And that can't be a bad thing.
Writing sample is using Deep Dark Orange, and I can't claim the handwriting, that belongs to a lady of greater distinction than me.