Better than Levis 511s?
I don't mind the stretch; it's actually the reason why I keep going to 511s.
Are you arguing that poly is just cost-cutting and therefore inferior to a pure cotton jean?
Synthetic = increased durability.
Also, synthetic = no fading, which is crucial for something like a black overdye pant.
ALSO, a cotton/spandex blend will stretch out and stay stretched out after a few washes; synthetic helps it to maintain its shape over time.
Fit and detail-wise, they're just cheap APCs.
Breathability isn't really a problem with these, at least for me. My activity level is pretty similar to yours and I haven't had any issues.
Admittedly, the colorfastness aspect of it is irrelevant in a washed denim, but to be fair, at this pricepoint, in any brand, washes are generally awful and you shouldn't be buying them to begin with.
But either way, 511s are totally fine and they'd be my first choice if I didn't have access to Uniqlo. For indigo jeans, 100% cotton all the way, but I really feel like the synthetic blend is a better (or at least justifiable) choice for a black OD.
as for the OCBD, the price thing definitely plays a part. for $29, the slim fits are absolutely bonkers. it's why the old ones were completely sold out and the new ones are flying off the shelves.
but you won't be wow'd or satisfied if you're comparing these to the ones that people typically get in the $200 price range, but i'll gladly have a full range of colors, "white, blue, grey, green, navy and khaki" for the price of 1 super nice made in the usa with MOP buttons oxford--and i've had both.