Inkdependence: Pen newbie? Great! You could meet them where they are with a gel pen like the Pilot G2 ($12.95 for 8 colors) or the Uniball Signo. However, a step up from those are the Zebra Sarasa Gel Pen because it dries quick, has bold pigment, is long-lasting, and feels smooth. Also, good, inexpensive paper like Maruman Sept Couleur Notebooks is very important. Higher up is the Rhodia Pad (8$ for 6 x 8.25) which is great for pens, but not for pencils. Even higher is Midori. The one I use is the Midori MD Cotton F0 Notebook which takes anything from pencils to fountain pens. For entry level fountain pens, I recommend the Diplomat Magnum ($21.60).
PenBoyRoy: A box of destroyed ballpoint pens followed by ANY fountain pen. Just spread the fountain pen virus.
Figboot on Pens: When I gave someone a starter kid not too long ago, I gave them a TWSBI Diamond 580 and a bottle of Pilot Iroshizuku Bottled Ink in Kon-Peki Ink ($19.95 for 50 mL). A cheaper option is a Lamy Safari ($29.60), but remember to buy a converter ($6) with the Lamy And maybe a Rhodia Pad (8$ for 6 x 8.25) as well.
Larry’s Fountain Pens: I would 2 to 3 samples of ink and a fountain pen. I want to give them the taste of a fountain pen with a Jinhao or a Pilot Metropolitan ($23.95). But remember that the nibs are made differently as the Jinhao is Chinese and the Pilot is Japanese. I would also include 5 different types of fountain paper like a Rhodia Pad (8$ for 6 x 8.25), Clairefontaine ($6.50 for 4.25 x 6.25), Tomoe River, and Life.
Sbrebrown: To reduce confusion, I would stick with a cartridge converter pen. When people start out, I recommend using a cartridge but then move toward bottled ink. Get them a nice pen, paper, and a little box of cartridges and then move from there. Paper is very important, so get them a notepad that’s around A5 sized. Rhodia (8$ for 6 x 8.25) and Clairefontaine ($6.50 for 4.25 x 6.25) are great.
Chris Saenz: The Pilot Varsity ($3.77) is great for a newbie. It is a ready-to-write-with fountain pen, so it’s great for a beginner or young person. However, I’d also give them affordable paper such as the Maruman Spiral Note or the Caliber Memo Book which is really friendly to medium nib pens.
Pen Addict: I think the paper is the most important. So I’d give Rhodia paper, which makes any pen that much better. So yes, I’d give them a pen and some ink and some cartridges, but I’d pay special attention to the paper.