Thanks. I was pretty sure about the scuffs, but since I was asking about the rough shell, I figured why not ask just in case. Your point about not being a dress boot is well taken. They're seconds for $529. I think I'm going to pass since the roughness is downer for me. Maybe if they dropped sub $400 like during last years RDA sale (if I recall that sale correctly), I'd feel differently, but I'd ratter wait and spend more for first. Probably in Brown.
FWIW, I have seen/owned shells from higher end makers than AE and they have the bumpy effect going on.
That is the nature of cordovan.
So, you must decide.
Actually, that price is fair. And the $400 price is a good deal.
But, I would recommend you wait and get exactly what you want.