They folks over at DasKeyboard loaned me a reviewers copy of their totally blank keyboard about three weeks ago and I've been typing on it since.
Sure it's blank, and at cursory glance, that's a gimmick. But DasKeyboard claims to have individually weighted keys. Most keyboards have keys weighted at 55 grams of force - that's how hard you have to push. DasKeyboard has 5 different levels of force from 35 grams to 80 grams lined up with the varying strength of your fingers. I know that my pinky fingers do tend to hurt more than the primary fingers.
There's a 30-day guarantee, and they are currently on sale for $70. It's a smidge spendy - I'd pay no more than $50 myself, but +/-$20 it's a very nice feeling keyboard. The key travel is smooth and comfortable. Be aware, it uses a legacy-free USB interface, so no old-style keyboard interface here, but that shouldn't be a problem for a computer purchased this century.
I'm still having trouble with the [ ] bracket keys and a few other programmer specific symbols, but my prose typing has definitely improved in speed. When I go home now after using DasKeyboad for just under a month I don't have to look at my fingers at all. My wife likes it also as she's been trying to become a touch typer.
Another benefit for blank keys is easy switching between Dvorak and Qwerty keyboard layout. I've tried to switch twice and failed. One day I'll try again, probably with a blank keyboard. I know at least one co-worker who types Dvorak on a Qwerty keyboard. I'm not sure how he ignores the Qwerty lettering.
There are a few competitors out there like the Happy Hacking Keyboard that includes no cursor keys, but none have the individually weighted keys.
I'm very sorry to see my reviewer keyboard go back in the mail this week. If you're interested in typing faster, you're having finger fatigue, or you just would like a nice, classic keyboard with the added benefit of smoother, individually weighted keys and a nice key throw, you should check out DasKeyboard.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.