well, closed channel doesn't add any value to me, nor does it make the shoe any longer lasting. its an appearance thing.
handwelt seems to be a claimed benefit, but given the percentage of issues inherent in goodyear shoes, I see no need to worry about the longevity of a goodyear shoe.
The rest is appearance. its definitely a more slick look than AE, whether thats a good thing or not is generally a style/personality determination.
Enjoy your shoes!