Neat thread, Termy. I prefer the use of a pencil over the use of a pen. I'm not a fan of ink, as I always have a fear that the ink will spill everywhere. I also dislike how pen is so bold, whereas with pencil you have somewhat more control. I love to draw, and thus I always use a pencil and rarely ever use a pen. Whenever I write something, it's in pencil and never in pen.
In general, I use a pen. They have a smoother feel to writing & don't have to go through the trouble of finding a sharpener. So what if pens can't erase? You can use this thing called white out to cover your mistakes. However, if your drawing, which I do a lot, I always stick with mechanical pencils. I only use normal #2 pencil if I absolutely have to, like on SATs.
On a side note, I need to write with ballpoint pens instead of gel pens. If your left handed, like I am, Its hard to use a gel pen. Left handers drag their hand across the fresh ink when writing left to right, so it basically gets more ink on your sleeve & the rest of your paper than its actual purpose. Right-handers may or may not know what I'm talking about until they try it, but in terms of motions, righties pull the pen across the paper, while lefties push it.
Both pens and pencils are things of abhorrence when compared to a keyboard. I don't care all that much for the environment, but I've gone nearly paperless just for the sheer convenience of it. Typing is much faster than writing even with the most fluid pen. It is much easier to correct mistakes or revise compositions than the best eraser. There's no smudging, no illegibility (unless you go out of your way to choose a terrible font, which also happens to be a great feature that is harder to accomplish with pens and pencils), and almost no wrist fatigue.
Storing compositions electronically also opens up many possibilities such as searching, organizing, linking, copying, and accessing.
For those cruel professors who don't allow laptops in class, I reluctantly use pencils. I went through two years of college with only three pencils.
I use pen. Mainly because it's neater and looks more professional, and also like Austin said; sharpening pencils can be a pain. Mechanical pencils are no better in terms of replacing the lead. Pens are just better for writing. I write virtually everything in pen. I don't use pencil to write anything. The only time I use a pencil is if it's the only option or I'm drawing.
It really depends. I absolutely hate using a non-mechanical pencil, so if that is the only pencil option then I'll take a pen every time. However, if I tend to use mechanical pencils for note-taking or studying as I find them much neater and easier to write with.
I agree with Locke though, my mechanical keyboard will always be many, many times faster than writing with either a pen or a pencil. I absolutely hate it when I'm not given the option to simply type an assignment, and in this day and age I see absolutely no reason why we should have to use a pen or a pencil for writing something lengthy.
I agree with Locke that the keyboard is far superior to the pen/pencil, also my "writting" looks so much neater on a computer. If I have to choose between a pen and pencil, pen is the option for me. I find using pencils annoying, messy and uncomfortable.