While I won't disagree that Church's might not represent a good deal for $500, I think the OP needs to take a few things into consideration.
First, are THESE shoes corrected grain? Who cares if Church's has offered corrected grain leather on some models at various times, if these are "custom grade" with a high quality aniline leather, then QED.
Second, if these are at a bricks and mortar store near you and they fit you well, that's certainly an important factor. As is your opinion of the shoe's design.