One of my Christmas presents from my mom was a Noodler's Ahab in the Cardinal Darkness color. It's a really nice pen, and it's quickly become one of my favorites. They're inexpensive at $20, and I haven't seen a pen that beats it at that price point.
I ordered two Ahabs (one for me and one for Audrey) from Goulet Pens on Wednesday and I got them in the mail today (Friday). That's a really good turn-around, and the packaging was really awesome. The two pens and four ink samples that I ordered arrived in a bubble mailer, wrapped in bubble wrap, and then secured in blue plastic wrap. Really good work!
Audrey's new pen is a Pink Tiger and mine is the new Black version. The tiger is a really fun design that I think Audrey is going to love, and the black is probably one of my classiest looking fountains. Now I just have to decide on some ink colors for these. Maybe Audrey will get some Diamine "Hope Pink" in her's from the February Ink Drop.
I always take apart a pen when I first get it, just to make sure that everything looks good, and that there isn't any debris in the feed from the manufacturing process. These new Ahabs are better than the first one that I got. My Cardinal model has the old round o-ring in the ink tank's piston. These new ones have a double-wall o-ring that makes the piston move much more easily in the well. Another difference is that the feeds in the new pens are both very clean. As you can see in this picture, the feed on my original Ahab is pretty chewed up. I guarantee that it came that way, and it wasn't my hatchet job. It doesn't seem to have impacted the performance of my Cardinal, but it does look a bit messy when you take it apart.