The Internet is replete with reviews, videos, and comparisons of the Lamy Safari (Vista = transparent version of the Safari), and I don't have enough experience with fountain pens to add any meaningful content. Instead, I'll explain how I arrived at the decision to buy the Vista.
Me_1: "This Platinum Preppy isn't as smooth as I'd like, it writes a little dry, and it skips every now and then. Moreover, the cap has already cracked and the written line width is kinda thick, even though I have a fine nib on it."
Me_2: "Dude, it cost $3.00. Get over it and buy something better."
Me_1/2: "Sounds like a good idea. Let's do some research to find a few candidates. I guess my budget is around $50.00 because I'm still not 100% convinced that I like fountain pens. OK, after spending way too much time online, these look pretty good: Kaweco Sport; Pilot Prera; Lamy Safari; Sailor Lecoule; and Twsbi 540. Let's pick one."
Me_1: "I'm going to read some threads on The Fountain Pen Network and watch YouTube video reviews before I make a decision. I'm also going to create an online poll to see what fountain pen experts recommend. Perhaps I'll try to demo these pens in a brick and mortar store. Ooh, I really like the demonstrator/transparent pens."
Me_2: "I like the Prera the best. It looks super slick, Pilot has a great reputation, the cap prevents the nib from drying out, and it comes with a converter thingy."
Me_1: "I like the Lamy Safari. It gets great reviews and everyone recommends it for a beginner fountain pen. Plus, it's less than $30.00 and it comes in many different colors, including the transparent Vista version. By the way, the Prera is overpriced, and you can get the same nib on the Pilot 78G pen, which only costs $10.00. I don't care about a converter because I'm going to use ink cartridges for awhile."
|The Lamy Vista|
Me_1: "Just listen to all the fountain pen experts. They all say Lamy. It's no contest. Moreover, the Lamy is much cheaper than the Prera, which will reduce the likelihood of buyer's remorse. The Germans know their pens, too."
Me_1/2: "Alright, I'll take a look at the interactive comparison tools on the Goulet Pens website, flip a coin, or whatever, and will order the Pilot Prera. Or the Lamy Vista. Or the Pilot Prera. OK, this is ridiculous, delete the Prera from the shopping cart and get the Vista instead. But the Prera looks SO cool. Sure, but the design is juvenile. Arrrggggghh. Lamy Vista!"
I'm really glad the above-described ordeal is over. The Vista is simply a beautiful and well-designed pen. I even like the clip, which some people hate (pro tip: the pen is balanced such that it can assume a planking position resting on the clip). The Vista writes more consistently and looks much nicer than the Preppy.
First up is an entire page of Lamy Vista goodness (or badness, depending on your perspective):
|Lamy Vista on Moleskine Paper|
I thought it might be useful to show samples using different types of paper and different pens. Unfortunately, I don't own any "good" paper, so feel free to break out the lulz. Next up are some writing samples on cheap notepad paper:
|Crappy Notepad Paper|
I repeated my writing on a different notepad that said "Diamond" on it. The paper is definitely thicker and of higher quality, but I don't know how it compares to the good stuff known to those in the fountain pen world:
|Not-So-Crappy Notepad Paper|
Finally, an attempt to squeeze some writing onto a single page in my Moleskine notebook:
|Comparison on Moleskine Paper|