It's really a matter of bal vs. blucher. The latter fits me considerably better than the former. Unless you're a completist, I don't think you should get both.
(l to r: brown shell MacNeil in 9 E, chili grain BB MacNeil in 9.5 E, cognac CXL MacNeil 5 in 9.5 E)
I've held both the natural and navy CXL Alden LWBs in my hands and can confirm they have serious heft and solidity as compared to even the MacNeil in shell. However, in terms of sleekness, I think the BB MacNeil and the MacNeil 5 are actually fairly close to each other. While I wouldn't choose the MacNeil 5 over the regular MacNeil, at least for the time being I'm happy to have both.
Would really appreciate a side by side picture comparing Alden lwb and McNeil 5. Anyone? Thanks.