I prefer pens whose ink glides evenly onto the paper. Cheap ballpoint pens are right out, due to their scratchiness. Even more than that, I'm looking for writing utensils which are a little thicker and have padded grips. I grew up in the word processor generation so I find my hand cramps when writing pretty early on. I need my tools to be ergonomic and support good habits to keep pain away. It's sad that people don't consider this more than they do. If you are busy worrying about how uncomfortable you are, you're probably not devoting as much energy to the assignment at hand as you should be.