i will give a short review and bump this thread.
I ordered the Clayton model. Shipped in a week to NZ, for $20 which is very fair.
My initial reaction upon seeing them was that they were slightly too elongated for my tastes. However, once i put them on and started walking around this fear subsided, and was probably more due to the model tending to naturally look quite elongated because of its wrap around style. My favourite thing about the shoe is its heavily tapered waist and high arch. For this reason, I would not recommend someone with flat feet using this last; you would probably have to size up, and that would make the shape too elongated. As it stands, it's perfect for me tts (8.5D).
From my point of view -and i'm no shoemaker- the two-piece design means two things; the leather has to be in relatively large pieces, but also that there's less stitching involved. The stitching on the upper appears neat and tidy, though i can't compare to the ranges of JL or EG etc since i haven't handled them. They appear to be similar in details (closed channel sole etc) to my AS exclusive range. The leather on the Claytons is more unique and slightly nicer than what i've seen from AS exclusive. The sole is cut a little wider though, and could probably be a bit tighter into the upper - although i believe this could be shaved down. I'm not sure what the technical difference between the rear stitched seam with a third piece of leather and the slit (bumcrack?) design is, but i find slits slightly more appealing. actually come to think of it, i guess it'd have to be one-piece to have the slit, which might be impossible.
I would like to know more about which construction methods have been used.
Overall i would definitely buy again. If not quite competing with the JL tier (I wouldn't know) these are at least providing unique models and nice options at or above the AS exclusive range level, for excellent prices. I like to explore a variety of brands in my shoe collection and these are definitely a welcome addition.