I used to have a Model M in the Latin American layout with a PS/2 cable, but I stupidly spilled some tea on it and shorted the M and B together. Those bastards are impossible to disassemble non-destructively, so I had to put it aside.
If you've never tried a Model M and are curious about them, but can't find one or find them impractical, try any modern keyboard with Cherry MX Blues. The subjective experience is quite comparable.
My keyboard of choice at the moment is a Dell RT7D50. I like the size and feel of them...and there were a few spares knocking around at work.
I wouldn't mind a Das Keyboard 4 Professional but I don't have access to a mechanical keyboard (not sure what the dell has) to see which switches I'd be happy with and it's a bit expensive to buy on a whim.
The Kinesis Advantage2 also looks interesting. I can't comfortable hold my hands in the home position so have never learned to touch type...but the price is ridicules.
I have a vague memory of the Optimus Maximus keyboard, each key had an OLED display that shows the function assigned to it. One of those ideas you wish went mainstream but you end up wondering if it was just a strange cheese dream.
Edit 2: it wasn't a dream https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj7GYU-wedo but possibly a nightmare...but I still like the idea.
I have two keyboards that I currently use (one for playing games and the other for typing/coding).
For games, I use a Leopold FC750R. It doesn't have any back-lighting or RGB and is very quiet. Additionally, it has a detachable USB cable, so that's a nice plus for when I want to switch keyboards. It's using Cherry MX Silent Reds and also has a sound absorbent pad for a more quiet typing experience.
For typing, I use a 60% chiclet wireless keyboard. This is the one:
But I can't say how dependable it is. You may think a switch feels and sounds quite nice after trying them out on a display or something, but after a few months you'll actually turn to find that they aren't as pleasant. Or at least I did. I use to be all about the clicky keyboards, but the clicky clacky noise become annoying quickly within 3 or so months.
Furry Guy: What's the quality like? I've typed in some trashy keyboards and I can cope, as long as it doesn't get in my way. If the keys get stuck depressed, or sometimes need extra force to push down, for me they become unusable. It's like trying to run while someone is trying to trip you up.
Those switch testers can only give you a general idea of what a key will sound and feel like, but they aren't very indicative of what the typing experience on a keyboard is going to be like, particularly if you've never used a mechanical keyboard and don't know what to look for. There's isn't really any replacement to sitting down in front of it and using it for your normal activities.
the clicky clacky noise become annoying quickly within 3 or so months.
It's funny. I absolutely love clicky keyboards, but I didn't realize just how loud they were until a coworker brought to the office the exact same model I was using. Turns out I love them as long I'm the one making the noise.
@helios, the quality is I can type and get definite tactical/aural feedback. No stuck keys, and the amount of force to depress the keys is about the same as an electric typewriter. Standard oblongish layout. The actual physical layout changes slightly from keyboard to keyboard. Mostly in the function keys and keypad. Each keyboard has extra programmable keys, but since the keyboard is hooked up to a computer setup that isn't HP or Dell the extra keys are non-functional.
The fancy keyboards would be a waste of money for me. But as I said I'm cheap. And I adapt to the particulars of each keyboard.
I need a very basic keyboard. And like it that way.
one of my first PCs, I think the 386, had a keyboard that you could program up to 255 characters onto up to 12 'extra' buttons. It was *awesome*. I know you can still get programmables but they are overly complex and fairly pricey now; many of them require a special driver or interaction software to use (the one I had was all in its hardware).
I loved that thing and every once in a while I go looking for something like it, but mostly I have been burned by that on stuff that wasn't as good. Its really nice to have some code constructs the touch of a button though -- eg could have it type an i-based for loop like
for(int i = 0; ; )
and fill in the blanks. I don't remember all the stuff I had in it but multiple things of that nature were stored up.
anyway right now I have a basic one that came with my last PC. Its claim to fame is it has a red LED that makes it light up, but it doesn't do anything else and I turned that off.
What you really need to avoid wear is double-shot injection molding, where the key legends are actually a different color plastic that's injected into channels on the keys. I have several 40+ year old calculators with those keys and they show no signs of wear.
I have the same model keyboard at home and at work.