speed hooks are a necessity for me with boots. They are there for a reason: it's time consuming and somewhat annoying to take them off and on otherwise. It can be done, but just realize you'll need to take a few extra minutes at both ends to undo some laces from the top sets of eyelets.
NAMOR, I assume you meant the issue of speed hooks, not blind eyelets? I have boots with blind and agatine eyelets and have never noticed a difference in their performance. Have you, or was that a typo?
Regarding speed hooks, I was concerned about the practicality of not having them in. All my boots have speed hooks, so I have no experience with boots without them. I asked around, however, and a few people told me that boots without them are fine, they just take a little extra effort. In my head, I imagined that this would entail just "opening" the laces up a little bit, so that the opening would be big enough to stick your foot in. I can't imagine this taking more than 15 to 30 seconds extra per boot. From those with experience, am I mistaken?
No, this isn't Top Drawer. This is my first MTO with EG, and I decided to go with Leffot because the price they quoted me was the same that EG gave. It seemed like it would then just be better to have Leffot's help, so I went with them. I'm not sure if getting a sketch is standard with their MTOs.