Some thoughts after having read this whole thread:
-RM Williams is underrated. I can't believe how little presence they have in the US.
Neither store in New York or San Francisco has a good website or easy emailing where you can see their inventory like Allen Edmonds. $100 shipping both ways to Australia is pretty expensive given the size differences, or if you have the special soles, to get recrafted. Moreover, the NYC store charges $550 for their classic Craftsman boots versus $350 online. I don't think the ~60% difference justifies the brick and mortar store in Manhattan only.
-RMW is missing out on lots of money by not seizing the US market or making online purchases easier like on Zappos or Amazon.
-Which leads me to my biggest nitpick: I dislike how RMW doesn't display many of the colors they have nor the various leathers.
Instead, you have to hunt them down in threads like this. Even then, no one here has colors like honey tan, chamois, etc. For every custom boot they make in say camel or suede, they could take a picture at the factory. Also, a good side-by-side comparison of dark tan, tan, whiskey, brandy, and others would save hours of research. Some like me want models besides the ubiquitous/classic Craftsman Yearling in chestnut or black without committing to MTO/no return policy.
-It's interesting to see how this thread started, peaked, and has now died. It's a shame given the recent news with LVMH.
As we speak, negotiations are happening on the direction of the company, choosing new board, and so on. A friend who knows a friend involved in the deal says conversations to outsource more and more products are more frequent. Blundstones used to be made in Australia, not now. The leather goods will see a spike in prices as LVMH's outstanding marketing will tout the Australian craftsmanship. Apparently the boots may be split into cheap, outsourced ones and handmade, but premium priced Australian ones. Again, this is just gossip. Take it with a grain of salt.
One of the amazing things about RMW Chelseas are their bang for the buck like AE. If the rumors above are true, I'll buy several more pairs to last me for years.
-The svelte, brass screwed leather sole is very rare among RMW buyers.
It's more popular in their women's boots. Some dislike the lip jutting around boots, but most shoes for men have that. I looked at my GF's boots and noticed how little lip they have. Although the screw construction is very interesting and worth collecting, I think this forum got carried away with the Forum Specials that look feminine . If resoling the screwed leather sole wasn't such a hassle with sending back to Australia, I would still get it, feminine-looking or not since it's unique.