One of the reasons for which I like suede shoes is that they require less care than leather shoes in order to look "acceptable", IMO; just a bit of brushing when you get home from work or leisure. But a disadvantage is that they don't age that well. Actually, some leather shoes, when polished, look fantastic also after many years of wear. They seem to acquire a nice "patina" with age. And that cannot be said about suede shoes (IMO).
Thus, just as the OP suggests, I tend to be more reluctant to spend a substantial amount of money on suede shoes than on leather shoes. All of my suede shoes are Carmina (which have a reasonable retail price) or Santoni, and my suede Santonis I bougth on sale.