First off, let me just say that I have this "thing" about red ink. I am a professor, so red ink is my lifeblood (no pun intended). I know that some people advocate grading in green ink these days, to preserve students' fragile psyches, and I use it too. (And not surprisingly, I have the same kind of "thing" for green ink, although according to this link at Tiger Pens Blog, green ink is not a very respectable thing to have a "thing" for.)
However, back to the red, and it's a fact that not just any old red will do. I have discovered that there are as many different shades of red as -- well, just about any other color. (Surprise!) In other words, a lot more than one might think at first. And I have also discovered that I am pretty picky about the shade of red I use, especially when I am grading. (Another surprise!) It needs to be (what I consider) a TRUE red, with no other color mixed in with it -- not tending towards reddish-brown, or reddish-orange, or reddish-anything -- not too dark or too light, and -- since I am grading with it -- not resembling actual blood too much. (I am already accused of "bleeding" all over students' papers and tests, so there's absolutely no need to drive that particular metaphor home.) I want a RED RED.
So that's why I love Noodler's Nikita. As you can see, it's exactly the shade of red I am describing. It's not a fancy ink, and it doesn't have a huge amount of subtlety in it, as far as I can tell. No excessive shading, but that's not something I want when I am grading anyway. In my hands, it's always been a very well-behaved ink, with no bothersome feathering or bleedthrough on even regular copy paper or worse. It's got a good flow but dries quickly enough (even on Rhodia paper) that I don't have to take any special precautions with a page after I finish it (another important consideration when grading tests and other papers). It's just a great all-around red ink.
It's also a HUGE bottle of ink for the price, and it comes with a free Noodler's eyedropper pen. I had read some reviews of the pen that suggested you get what you pay for with this pen, but I disagree. Yes, it's not fancy and does not have a beautiful gold nib and all that, but I prefer pens that are not going to make me sob uncontrollably if something goes wrong with them (or I do something stupid to them and break them). Yes, like many inexpensive pens, it needs a little pampering and tweaking to get it going, but that's not unexpected, and I am gradually becoming more comfortable with that whole process. It writes a little more finely than I prefer, but it works really well with this ink, and Noodler's knew what they were doing when they included this pen as a freebie.
So there you have it. A true red ink that makes me smile at the same time that it makes my students weep. You can't really put a price tag on that kind of thing, now can you?