I bought MacNeils during the sale in September and found the same issues around the welt. I also found leather finishing issues. I didn't pursue it. I wear the shoes at least twice a week and have gotten them shined 3 times since purchase. I'm not sweatin it but I will store buy my next pair of Allen's.
Don't buy a pair of Alden, I think every pair I saw when shopping for some last summer had edging on the upper.
Since I wear my AE's to wear them, I'm not overly concerned with perfection. I think every single pair I bought get worn to the stitches on the tip of the sole in the first wearing or two. It bothered me at first, then I realized it was just the way it is. Thankfully, I'm paying only a couple to a few hundred a pair, rather than thousands. They're still heads and shoulders above the crap department shoe stores...
Edited by Stylego - 12/4/11 at 6:55pm