Thanks for the input! E-mailing back and forth with an associate I think I'll just get the Brooks Brothers Park Avenue in Dark Brown for 199. I'm not able to see the shell in person and if the Brooks Brothers are very similar to the regular shoes I'd rather just save the money. Undecided on the second pair, the sales person suggested Clifton in Walnut as an option for 199.
I actually favor the Brooks Brothers version on some of these shoes over the standard AE's, so I would agree with your decision if you decide to go with calf. I don't have their version of the PA, so I can't comment on that, but the black McTavishes I received from BB have a standard full leather sole, with a half leather dovetail heel (like those found on the Player's shoe or any of the cordovan models).
That said, keep in mind that 1st quality PA's can be had through Nordstrom at the moment for $220 (not sure which colors, but I thought there was at least one shade of brown, along with black), whereas the Brooks Brother's PA's available through the outlets for $199 are usually 2nds.
As for your earlier question about a second pair of shoes, it would probably depend on what you're looking for. If it's strictly for professional dress, I would look at a pair of black PA's and a pair of brown PA's or Fifth Avenue's. If you wanted one to be more formal and the other to be a bit more casual, I would look into black PA's and dark brown Strands or burgundy McCallister's.
Edited by fiestaplatypus - 7/24/12 at 1:00pm