Both. The only pair that has stood the test of time is ironically a pair of factory seconds. I've had the following issues, some of which are small but should not happen on a pair of 500 dollar boots:
Shipped with an eyelet looking as though it was split with a bolt cutter.
Welt stitching so close to the edge of the that it was worn into after a matter of weeks.
Blown seams due to the extreme act of crouching.
Left shoe being lasted half a size larger than the right.
Right shoe being lasted half a sizer larger than the left.
Plastic left hanging out all over the welt and heel.
Since they suspended their MTO program, I find it hard to get the proper length and width combo as well. Sadly I still can't get over my love for their aesthetics so I've banned myself from the Alden thread.
My pair of Tricker's factory seconds shipped with such perfect finishing that I cannot find the defect. Tricker's basic calf leather, though thinner and softer than the Alden 405 waxhide, has resisted scratching and tearing despite being worn just as hard and in a variety of conditions. I wouldn't work construction or climb a mountain in them, but they can handle my random day to day physical labors and I wouldn't hesitate taking them on an impromptu hike.
Edit: Forgot to mention that a bellows or gusseted tongue is also awesome and doesn't make the dreaded trip around your ankle throughout the day. The only boots I experienced that issue with on the same level of Alden was a pair of 10" Docs back in high school.