I stole this subject from Fountain Pen Geeks. I think the original question was “How have your preferences changed?” My starting point as an adult was not chosen. I was made a gift of a Sheaffer Targa which had a firm medium nib. I used it for a few years and it was a great pen. Then I picked up an Onoto with a very flexible stub. That was the pen of choice for ages though I acquired lots of other pens both vintage and new. There’s so much on offer and every pen is different so it takes quite a while to work out what one’s preferences actually are.
I stuck with flex for quite a while though I began to realise that it slowed me down. It also covered a lot of sloppy handwriting. Eventually I went the other way and for years I only used firm fine or EF. That’s a configuration I still like.
Paper began to drive my choice of nib. I like paper with some texture – in fact I can’t abide absolutely smooth papers like Clairefontaine Triomphe. However the more textured papers don’t work well with fine nibs. I began using mediums more for correspondence though I stick with fine firms for drafts and note-taking. That allows me to use some of my older Conway Stewarts and my Osmia 223 which even has a little flex.
While I will never be a calligrapher I do enjoy playing with handwriting. For years I has eschewed the dip pen after early bad experiences with it. In the last few months I have tried again, initially with an Esterbrook Relief nib: no flex but lots of stub character. Since then I’ve tried other nibs. At the moment my dip nib of choice is the M Myers and Son Round Writer, a stub with lots of easy flex.
All that has developed over thirty-odd years. Some people may work towards that one pen or group of pens that become their lifetime choice. I think that I find something I like, stay with that for a few years then move on to something else and I probably always will. There will never be a lasting end point for me. A new thing will always come along and rock my boat now and again. And that’s a good thing!