What are some things I should do once I have bought my pen?
Give your fountain pen a chance to write as well as it possibly can. We recommend placing several sheets of paper, or a pad, under the sheet you're writing on. Some people use a stack of newspaper to write on to get the best feel.
When filling a fountain pen from a bottle of ink (bladder, piston- or plunger-filler system) be sure to immerse the entire nib and feed, right up to, and even slightly over, the edge of the section (the part of the pen you grip) before working the lever, plunger or piston. Failing to immerse the nib will result in drawing air into the reservoir along with the ink. Only a Sheaffer's Snorkel system is designed to have the extendable tube inserted into the ink well. But, be careful! Be sure there is sufficient depth of ink in the bottle. You don't want to impact the nib's tipping on the bottom of the bottle when filling.
After filling a fountain pen from a bottle, blot the nib, feed and section with a soft tissue. This will prevent excessive ink flow and dripping.
There is always a small amount of air in the bladder, converter, cartridge or reservoir. This air will expand or contract with air pressure changes, the heat from your hand, direct sunlight or being left under a lighted desk lamp. All these changes can cause leaks onto the surface of a nib and ink to accumulate in the cap. This can eventually be transferred to the section edge when capped and end up on your fingers. We recommend using a twisted paper towel or Q-tip to clean the inside of the cap as a part of regular maintenance.
Fountain pens, especially vintage fountain pens, are idiosyncratic creatures. If you are neither able, nor willing, to put up with slight inconveniences such as minor leaks, or having to clean and maintain the instrument in order to keep it functioning well, you should probably stick with a rollerball or ballpoint pen. John only half facetiously says fountain pens are the reason Kleenex was invented.