I'm always on the lookout for a better pencil. Recently on a discussion list I'm on, the topic of pencils came up, with lots of suggestions about which ones were liked or preferred. So of course, I had to try some of the favorites!
Even though I've spent a lot on pencils, trying to find the "perfect" one, I still go back to this one: a Sanford EarthWrite number 2 HB. From OfficeMax. Go figure. It's smooth (no grittiness in the middle of a line like the Raffines do), sharpens well, doesn't smudge too much and the color is nice and dark.