Most walnut Strands that I've seen this summer have been paired with grey and blue jeans of varying hues, navy dress pants and chinos, light blue dress pants and chinos, blue/royal blue/light blue suits and every hue of grey pants and suits imaginable. Like you said, the shoe is immensely popular and, during the few times I was stuck in airports this summer, the Park Ave (or other black cap-toe) is the only shoe I saw more often.
I encountered the same thing at the two weddings I attended this year, with the dapperest honchos wearing various super-tight, blue-colored suits with walnut Strands - at one wedding there were four guys wearing this look - with one dude choosing walnut Park Aves.
I think it comes down to where one's comfort zone is (or ends) when straying from - for lack of a better term - "classic" rules of thumb/guidelines. E.g., if you stick to shoes at least as dark or darker than your suit, walnut Strands are usually limited to a very light gray business suit or something casual and seasonal like seersucker (for which it is an acceptable, but probably no better than third or fourth choice behind white bucks, spectators, and possible tan loafers).
In a sport coat-and-tie context, I would most often be looking at a spring/summer combo. Something else usually works better in the fall and winter.
So that leaves dress or more casual pants without tie. And the idea of wearing a bal - regardless of broguing or color - in those circumstances seems a bit off to me. Maybe I ought to just live a little.
So if someone is comfortable being among the "dapperest honchos wearing super-tight, blue-colored suits with walnut Strands," then go on and be yo' bad self. Others of us will have to sit back and watch.
To be clear, I love wearing the shoe when the opportunity presents itself. However, in my coat and tie every day world, the opportunities aren't often there. Therefore, for ME, it hasn't proved to be a very versatile shoe.