I have owned 4 Classic Century sets, starting in the early 70's, plus a Medalist Roller Ball and a desk set. They are all still working except 1 pen that I ran over with my car. I thought that I had lost my Medalist Pen just before Father's Day and my daughter bought me a new Classic Century Satin Chrome set for Father's Day. What a disappointment that pencil is. The (.07 instead of .05) lead does not come out easily, or go back in easily, and the eraser is a joke. If this is the best that you can do I will not be buying any more Cross pencils in the future. Also made in the U. S. A. means a lot to me. I think Cross will last a long time on it's past reputation, but will lose a lot of customers becasue of the new pencil cartridge design. The pen appears to work much better than the pencil, so I will keep both of them and I'll have a spare barrel and cap if I need them in the future. I will recommend the new pens, but not the pencils or sets. The pens are excellent, but the "new" pencils are a piece of junk.