I've been playing with all my keyboards these past few days, putting them through their paces. I really really like the Leopold FC660C. It is a very nice compromise between a tenkeyless and the small form factor. I've gotten used to the size and it no longer feels cramped. The keyboard is more or less perfect except for 2 things. The redundant INSERT key and the poor gold laser-etched lettering of the keycaps. I don't think they can do anything for the INSERT key and to be honest, I can't think of anything to replace it with. They can of course do something about the keycaps. Something like the Topre produced dye-sublimated PBT keycaps. However I do worry that it will change the character and feel of the key. The current original keycaps are perfect except for that ugly laser-etched gold letterings. I did not realise how much keycaps play a part in changing the feel of the keyboard. I get to experience these first hand when swapping keycaps among the various compatible keyboards. I guess there is something to be said about manufacturers fine-tuning the keycaps to the keyboards.
Now to the dilemma.
I don't know if I should get the Happy Hacking Keyboard Pro 2 (or HHKB for short) as I am more than happy with the Leopold. I'm very tempted to get another one in either the same colour (I like black!) or one in another colour. Not that I'm afraid that the HHKB would be a disappointment but the character and key feel will be different from the Leopold and I'm afraid that it will not see much use. My plan is to settle down with 1 or 2 keyboards and sell the rest. Either get 2 Leopolds or 2 Leopolds and 1 Cherry MX for gaming.
But the HHKB Pro 2 is the "supposed" holy grail of keyboards and if I don't get it, I will always be left wondering. And being the OCD person that I am, it will tear me to pieces. It's very likely that I will get it anyway just to satisfy my curiosity. That is why I bought the Leopold FC660M with Cherry MX Clears on impulse. Just to satisfy my curiosity. Some people will say just get the HHKB and if you don't like it, it is easy to sell away. I don't know where they come from but where I'm from there isn't a big pool of people who are into keyboards. So chances are I will be stucked with them. That's not a good thing. Currently I'm trying to sell off 4 of them but have not gotten a single bite.
Oh what the hell, I'll just get it. I've been into worse and more expensive hobbies before. Keyboards in comparison seem to be very tame.
UPDATE 1 : The will is still strong. Manage to resist the urge to buy immediately. The absence of dedicated cursor keys in the usual inverted "T" layout is a real turn off. I realise I use them constantly. I tried to simulate the HHKB FN cursor keys combo with my current keyboard but it feels really awkward because I will automatically try to use my 3 middle fingers to press the cursor keys. It's just not possible.
We'll see how much longer I can hold out. Wish me luck!
UPDATE 2 : I've utterly failed. :(