You are preaching to the choir. I don't claim to understand their reasoning for the products that "make the cut." I just know that the people on here seem to be in agreement that things need to get better in the traditional offerings (while producing the flashy ones at the same time for the crowd that likes them). I guess I just try to remember that StyleForum currently has 132,743 members, and only a small fraction of those subscribe to this thread or even wear AE's. So even though we feel like we have a loud voice on here, the reality is that we are only a small fraction of the sales that AE is looking at as the "World's Largest Cobbler."
I don't like the short cap toe personally, but hate the shoe, not the player. It's personal preference, and I think it's fine.
And it is the iconic AE shoe. So why change it?
But I wonder why they sell so well. It could be that it is the short cap toe look that is appealing; but I also suspect that it is because the Park Avenue and its variants are the only conservative dress shoe that is Goodyear welted and high quality at its price point. Really, they have no competition.
Rather than changing the Park Avenue, I would like to see them add additional models with a longer cap toe, maybe on a different last. But maybe they are worried about taking away from the Park Avenue, and they already have "the" American cap toe dress shoe for the mainstream, so why fix what isn't broken? Maybe another cap toe would be perceived as diminishing the flagship shoe in some way.
Referencing my post above from a few days back is relevant to this discussion as well I think. There are countless people wearing AE's around the world, and a few harsh critics in this thread will never derail the prevailing opinion on what is an acceptable business shoe, especially one that has been around for decades. And frankly, I don't think it should change it. Like you said, don't fix what isn't broken. Current trends and thinking will shift soon enough, and people will move on to something else that they are judging. The Park Avenue will keep cranking away as the quintessential American business shoe.