Good looking comparison photo. I was waiting for the seemingly obligatory AE jab as soon as I saw the PA's in the line up. I still think people feel the need to poke at AE's simply because they are some of the most common and cost effective quality shoes around. Looking at this photo, I also see some of the most common jabs that people make at AE's being debunked. The Loake is substantially "plumper" than the Park Avenue, and yet, the Park Avenue is often presented as the poster child for being the "blobby" captoe. Also, the Park Avenue is so frequently accused of having too short of a cap toe, and yet, the cap toe looks to be about the same length as all of these with the exception of the Loake. I realize that often it is the combination of the rounded toe along with the cap that makes the Park Avenue look stubbier, while a pointier shoe can perhaps get away with a shorter cap. But, looking at the photos above, I see nothing to complain about.
I've owned AE and a number of other brands and do agree it is a great brand to start with when it comes to GYW shoes; however, I agree with JS' comment about the proportions. Having owned the PA and other captoes (AS, EG, Alden, G&G, C&J, Cheaney), the PA do have the shortest (however, I've always thought that this is a matter of preference in style) regardless of the shape of the toe. The reason I have had difficulty with the PA is the last really, I found the heel to ball relatively larger than the ball to toe. For me, if I wore the heel to ball size that fit, then my toes were cramped; if I went for a larger size, it shifted the widest part of the shoe too far from the ball of my foot.
If they fit well, they should provide the owner with joy. It is unfair to compare AE to shoes 2 to 3 times the price. What I can say is top notch is AE's customer service. There are very few companies that will go as far as them when it comes to making sure the customer 'feels' that they are always right.
Nice collection of black shoes W!