You are correct that I am spending way too much time worrying about this. But this being my first pair of nice boots, I can actually do very little about my obsession.
The one on the bottom is perfect. The one on the top has been like that for since day one, and has gotten a little worse over a week. Is it too much to ask to want them to look the same. I have no problem developing patina, but come on.
A few thoughts -
1) Leather will have some imperfections. It's a dead animal's skin, after all. I have some cordovan boots where the horse was obviously scarred. I actually like it.
2) As Crane's said, that leather looks really dry. If you're an urban hiker and the worse your boots will see is a puddle on the street, then get some polishing cloths (available at any shoe store), some Saphir Renovateur (try Kirby Allison's Hanger Project), and a good brush. Wipe the boots down with a slightly damp rag, brush them, let them dry, apply the Renovateur, brush vigorously.