In general, iPad styluses follow an incorrect cognitive mapping. The vast majority of them are designed to look and feel like a pen. Why? Writing or drawing on the iPad feels nothing like using a pen or pencil. For one, the fidelity is way too low. Also, it is pretty awkward to rest your palm on the screen of the device because it throws off the capacitive detection. Writing on an iPad, to me, feels like writing on a dry erase board. Fast, simple, low fidelity. The perfect iPad stylus is one that feels like a dry erase marker.
I like the philosophy the 37signals guys take with their iPad app, Draft, an app designed to mimic the feel of quickly sketching out ideas with a Sharpie.
Making your own DIY stylus is actually pretty simple, as long as you happen to have some conductive foam lying around. I used these two videos as a spring board for the design.
All it takes is a marker, some wire, a Q-tip, conductive foam and some glue and tape. The aforementioned videos give a good idea of how to assemble the parts.
After removing the felt tip with a pair of pliers, I poked a small hole with a thumbtack to thread the wire through.
Wrapping the wire around the shaft all but guarantees it will make contact with some part of your hand.
Works as advertised. A bonus with this design is the marker can still be capped, so you can comfortably throw it in your bag without damaging the foam tip.
The Right Feel for an iPad Stylus [The Russians Used a Pencil]