Original manufacturers' repair department could turn down the recrafting job and welts are not always replaced.
Calling the rewelting of GY welted shoes "easy to fix" is an overstatement; basically they had to put the shoes through the same assembly line for the recrafting. That is not easily achievable at your local cobbler.
Not sure I understand the part about the repair department turning down the recrafting job? I assume they could always do this, but what has it to do with GY welting? If the shoes were GY welted originally, surely the recrafting would be GY welted as well?
Perhaps "easy" overstates it. I have never seen it done. The article did not declare this to be a major problem, requiring an army of experts to accomplish. It sounded like a routine part of shoe care. If there is more to it than I assumed, I would be happy to be educated.
I can accept that it might require the original last, not likely to be available from a local cobbler. But then we are talking about moving from GY to HW avoid the chance that you might have to send the shoes back to the manufacturer. But given that you probably will not have to do this, the relative cost of GY vs HW shoes, and the relative cost of resoling with a local cobbler vs the manufacturer, it hardly seems worth it. What does an AE or Alden recraft cost? $150? And only needed if your cobbler returns the shoes saying they cannot be repaired locally. But to avoid this possible outcome, you boost the price of the new shoes from $300-$450 for AE or Alden to, what $3,000 minimum for HW (I have no idea what they actually cost).
If you could get HW for the same price as GY, and you avoid some risk of a more expensive repair, then clearly worth it. If HW was $50 more than GY welted, then distribute that extra cost over the, apparently low, risk of such severe gemming failure that a factory recraft would be required. Maybe worth it at a $50 premium. Maybe not. At $100 more for HW vs GY, hard to see it makes sense. Buy GY welted, have the local cobbler resole. If, occasionally, the cobbler says a pair needs to go to the factory, then so be it. Probably will not happen, but if if does you are still out only the difference between local cobbler resole and factory recraft.
An extra $300 to avoid this? Completely out of the question.
Again, tradition, the bespoke experience, appreciation of fine craftmanship, desire to impress the cognoscenti, probably other reasons I cannot imagine, all could justify $5,000 for a pair of Lobbs. But to think you are better off in the long run because you might avoid a few factory recrafts does not seem to add up.