Last weekend I acquired one of these:
A Moleskine notebook, manufactured in Italy by a company called Modo & Modo. Prior to that Saturday I had never heard of the Moleskine, nor had any particular need of a new notebook. And had I set out to purchase a notebook, the $16 price range would not have been my starting point. I was fortunate enough that this happened to be a gift, but I can nevertheless say that it's worth every penny. It is, in its pre-tech way, much like the iPod - beautiful, deceptively simple, and functional to the utmost. If you do any writing by hand at all, get one. You'll thank me.
Speaking of the iPod, Luke Williams of Frog Design has penned an impressive essay about it that, like much good creative work, is about more than just its subject. A quick but pithy read.