Their suede is nice, but I prefer Alden's suede, but it definitely comes with a large price hike that is probably not worth it. Plus Alden has a fairly limited selection unless you are hoping on a special order from a retailer.
Great minds think alike. I recently bought the Long Branches (seconds) and am considering a Chili McGregor during the RDA sale.
I considered waiting until the RDA sale to see of the LB seconds went down as well, but I've missed out on available shoes/sizes before by waiting as little as a few days, so I pulled the trigger for $199. I originally bought them in a size slightly too big, so I sent them back and should get the new pair of LB seconds tomorrow. Depending on the quality and what the "defect" is, I may consider sending them back and getting a pair of firsts for $269.
Hmm, I hadn't even considered that, although there would be a few changes I would make (chief of which would be the welt color). But, if I'm not mistaken, the SF "waive the MTO fee" deal has gone by the wayside (at least for non-group MTOs), so that would still make it fairly expensive and probably not worth the trouble for me personally.