Here's a blog that's charmingly and prettily about pencils. I noticed it just now as linked on Drawn! and then realized I'd also seen it on Metafilter.
On Metafilter, somebody links to a 1988 Apple animation — a classic of some sort — called "Pencil Test." You just know guys came up with that title, because for women, "pencil test" means something (which the animation is not about). Or are my female readers going to tell me they don't know what the "pencil test" is?
Anyway, me, I don't like to use pencils. Too much friction. And never dark enough — unless you go with a very soft pencil, which is going to be quite smudgy. Even if you want something to draw with, and you'd like to use smudging as a technique, a pencil is inferior. If I want to smudge up a drawing, I'm going to use charcoal. It's blacker and it's not all shiny and metallic.
I like the idea of the physical object, the pencil. It's perfectly lovely that they figured out how to get graphite inside of wood, the pink erasers are cute, the sharpeners make a satisfying grindy noise, the shavings curl touchingly and smell nice, and they're wonderfully biteable. But they are not for me.