Everyone knows the score: centre pins are supposed to be beautiful. The reel of the aesthete. Shiny, metallic, preferably venerably ancient and a joy to behold. I have a centre pin that approximates to that description (pictured below), and have used it to good effect and landed good fish on it. It's a pin that, like me, is in its 5th decade and "ticks all the boxes." However, it's not my favourite centre pin of the two I own.
My "go to" pin isn't of any great vintage, and if it were a child only its mother would find it attractive. It's the Shakespear Lincoln, made of graphite not machined metal and is slightly larger in diameter than I would choose, however it spins freely and forever, and is a joy to play fish on, never tangles and even with freezing cold hands is easy to use. The ultimate example of a product whose "sum is greater than its parts."
Most of my use of the reel is for standard float fishing in the margins, but I have used it with a largish perch bob and a gudgeon livebait while perch fishing, and the gudgeon (hardy and indomitable as its species always is) swam for what seemed like miles, gently taking line from the pin.
I rarely use a fixed spool reel for close in float fishing these days, preferring the more tactile sense of playing a fish that comes from using your hand as the reel's "clutch", and the Lincoln has fared well over the last seven years, and looks indestructible enough to last forever. Pretty it may not be, but "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", and I love my Lincoln.