Not surprising at all. As I said, J.Crew's fabric isn't something to get excited about. I can imagine that both of them source fabric from the same place, but J.Crew definitely makes the better use of it.
As to the pants, there's no doubt in my mind that LEC chinos blow J.Crew's or anything in the same price range out of the water. Good fabric, good fit and decent construction. Questionable color choices though (there's 'midnight blue' and 'soap stone' but not even good ol' navy? Come on.) Once they have some remotely popular color I will be over there real quick.
They had navy for a while. They don't really ever stick to a consistent fit or color selection for very long.