I certainly believe bloggers have an obligation to write reviews reflecting their honest opinion of a product, as opposed to becoming shills for retailers/manufacturers who provide free stuff. At the same time, I'm sympathetic to smaller-scale writers, like myself, who have to fund most of their product reviews out of their own pocket, and can't afford to purchase a product (even at a discount) that they suspect they won't like. I believe this factor is one cause for the surplus of "positive" reviews. For the record, however, if I truly don't like something, I will tell you. And if anyone wants to send me some crappy pens or pencils to review, I'm happy to do it.
Different aspects of a response to this article were fielded on The Pencil Case Blog and Pens! Paper! Pencils! as well as by Pete Denison on his personal blog. You can expect a post from me later this week touching on this topic.
While we are on the topic of reviewing bad pens. The Goodwriterspens's Blog reviewed one of the fugliest pens I have seen in a while; AND IT'S A ROTRING. With all of Mike Dudek's love of Rotring, I'm not surprised that this pen never graced his collection.
Mary who writes From the Pen Cup has a great blog post entitled Letter Writing: Stuff That Helps. I haven't been writing as many letters now that I have started blogging, it is something that I need to work on.