I have been a long time fan of the traditional capped version of the Sharpie Ultra Fine permanent marker, but every time I take it out of the drawer, I have to prime it on a piece of paper before I get down to business on what I really need to write on. Annoying, sure, but it's the best permanent pen on the market, so I dealt with it. When a reader emailed me about the new retractable ultra fine pen, I headed over to Staples and grabbed a three-pack (Black/Blue/Red) to try out. Right out of the packaging the pen was writing with no issues whatsoever. I'm not sure if the tip is wider (the line seems a touch wider to me), the ink flow has improved, or the retractable housing is doing a better job of keeping the pen fresh, but it is working like a champ. This is my new go-to permanent marker.