Just two quick points to mention:
I found this by coincidence.
There’s a TV show from Germany, where the winner gets at least half a million Euros. The first task (out of thirteen) in a recent episode was to sharpen a pencil. There’s a video on their website, but as far as I know you can’t watch it outside the German speaking countries …so unfortunately I wasn’t able to see it looks like when you sharpen a pencil for so much money.
As mentioned previously Sean posted some exciting reports about his recent trip to Japan (Tokyo and Osaka). I have now seen photos of a very cool pencil sharpening knife he bought there. Dare I say it? Depending on your taste you might think this is potentially even more exciting than the Faber-Castell knife. It’s called the Scutter, made by Yoshiharu, and it’s a pencil sharpening knife with a guard, similar to a Lancashire peeler – but it’s for sharpening pencils, not for peeling vegetables. As far as I can tell the price in Japan is quite cheap, between ¥300 and ¥400 (~$2.90; £1.90; €2.60). You can find a photo on the manufacturer’s web site. I hope there will be a blog post about this knife on Sean’s blog.
Price and exchange rates: September 2015