I've found tongue pads very helpful for shüs with a high instep, though I'll have to forsake lasted shoe trees for these modified pairs. The pads with trees will only stretch the instep further. There's no reason to shun Vass just because their lasts are high.
Thanks for chiming in, all. I've settled on a pair of nice brown and plain croc oxfords I first saw on Apparel Arts scans of yore, worn in spring or summer with plain fabrics. Croc has enough pop as is, and broguing or busy trousers will only lead to an eyesore. Too many Italian makers add frills to croc or gator, when the leather should be all.
...I really wish Vass would add a comparison shot of their lasts on the website already. It's 2014 for Pete's (or László's) sake. Not that I'll ever fall in love with pointy or square toes but this shot would help all long-distance orders greatly.
...I think I've written so before, but this really is my all-time favourite thread on Styleforum. It excites, wows, educates and passes time nicely. So, thank you again, nutcracker. You definitely should have a site of your own for this content so you could negotiate some advertising deals with choice makers from Japan, just like Shoegazing. Working for a cause is always nicer with perks.