Oh, I love a good quality pencil! Thankfully, the majority of brands are upping their game when it comes to pencils and they are ticking the boxes of requirements. For the record, what you need from a pencil is a buttery texture so it glides on to the skin without dragging or indeed, poking. A deep level of pigment so the colour is strong and lasts long rather than an insipid colour that tends to disappear in a few blinks.
Max Factor's Liquid Effect Pencils are good examples of pencils in the 'better' end of the scale. They perfom as they should and they leave a lovely, long lasting effect on the eye. (Not sure about the 'liquid effect' though as to me they are just a great kohl pencil)
I am addicted to the Violet Voltage shade which is deep aubergine shade. I use it both as a liner and as an eyeshadow base. It is smooth enough to sketch all over the lid and blend out with the attached smudger at the end of it. Apply a complementary shadow or metallic pigment on top for a gorgeous and easy effect. I think that these pencils can certainly hold their own against top brands and they definitely rival Armani's pencils in my view (and I have been pretty un-swayable when it comes to Armani before now!)