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A good old Craftsman lathe, with solid beds, before Sears switched to the mono-tube.

This should be fine for your stated small project work such as pens. The extra length does not hurt, just means longer footprint.

The price feels high for this lathe.

I cannot tell from the picture, but worth asking the seller what the headstock size is - external and if internal is tapered. This would help in advising whether the lathe will be able to use a chuck.

Scroll chucks are a good accessory to have. They all need an adapter to fit the specific headstock diameter and tpi (threads per inch).

The internal taper of many of these old lathes was MT #1 (Morse Taper size 1). This is needed if you want to purchase mandrels for the pen turning, etc.

These lathes have only a few speeds. Should not be a problem for pen turning.
 

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Thoughts on a used one like that Crafsman or buying a new lathe from Rockler or Harbor Freight?

This is the Rockler one I had been researching..

Rockler Excelsior 5-Speed Mini Lathe - Amazon.com
If I had to choose between $175 for the old Craftsman and $200 for the new Excelsior, I would chose the Excelsior. The new lathe has better locking handles. Sounds petty, but the smaller handles of the old Craftsman can be tiring to use.

Also the Excelsior has MT #2 taper on the headstock. More accessories are available for MT #2 than MT #1.
 
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