I have now purchased it and tried it out, and it is a wonderful thing!
The new Fountain Pentel actually isn’t called a Fountain Pentel… it is called a Tradio. The flexible tip is the same as the one on the Fountain Pentel (although it is black instead of white)… it gives you great versatility in the thickness of the line you are drawing depending on how much pressure you apply. This is what really sets it apart from other pens.
Other than that the Tradio is quite different… and quite an improvement over the previous model.
Unlike the Fountain Pentel, the Tradio is a refillable pen. Although I was hoping this might mean I could fill it with whatever ink I wanted to, this is not the case. The refillable cartridge is quite large and enclosed… and it includes a new nib. Essentially, the refills are the whole pen, minus the case. You could, if you were inclined, just buy the refills and use them as pens… not that I recommend it, as it wouldn’t be very comfortable to hold.
The refills aren’t terribly cheap, but they are very comparable to the price of a Fountain Pentel when they were still manufactured.
One of the major problems with the old Fountain Pentel was that it was essentially a felt tip, and the tips would often dry out and kill the pen. So far, that problem seems to have been eliminated with the Tradio… the ink, which is free-flowing liquid rather than ink soaked into a felt tip mass (as was the case with the Fountain Pentel), flows smoothly and easily.
The ink is also seems to be blacker than the ink in the Fountain Pentel… hopefully this means I won’t experience the fading issues I had with the ink in the Fountain Pentel, although I won’t know the answer to this for years.
All in all, the Tradio is a wonderful and relatively inexpensive pen… I can’t recommend it highly enough. You can order one from Wet Paint here (which I believe is currently the only North American distributor for these wonderful pens).