I note that the Barney's New York store in Beverly Hills routinely stocks C&J Chelsea boots for $450-$475. Presumably they are C&J Benchgrade. In fairness to Ralph, I've heard the claim that the C&Js he sells are made to a higher quality standard than regular Benchgrade--somewhere between Benchgrade and Handgrade. I've have scrutinized these C&J Benchgrade Chelseas rather closely and was not very impressed with the quality relative to the price. They didn't impress me as one whit better than A-Es and not as nice Alden.
I'm not sure the current Polo C&J's are notably better or worse than standard Benchmade quality, but I do have two older boots with channelled soles and built on nicer looking lasts.... Those channelled sole versions may be 10% better than AE or Alden, but at 100% more the cost (I paid prices below AE's retail, but above AE's ebay selling price. Only for items not currently in AE's line - chelseas, jodphurs, suede chukkas) But otherwise, I agree. I think that the current Polo prices are little out of whack with the quality, relative to what you can get from AE or Alden.