I have a last (to have and to hold). A last that fits as about 10 pairs of shoes do prove. And on top of it, a last that is aesthetically pleasing.
But the right last, whether it's bespoke or ready-to-wear, is far more important for the satisfaction a pair of shoes will give than the construction method. So, if I have to make a decision between a better construction and an inferior fitting last or an inferior construction and a better last, I would go for the fit any time.
Fair enough. But unless you go through life mindlessly, you don't need to make that choice.
If you're especially parsimonious, you're already buying RTW. That's seldom an ideal fit. It may not even be close when you start factoring in heel seat width and tread width and esp. H-B. AFAIK, none of that is written in the sales literature or provided when you buy RTW. It's caveat, caveat, caveat emptor, all over again.
If you are looking for a bespoke fit...one that ideally comes close to really fitting...you're almost by default looking at HW and good construction at every point.
So...really, the choice you present is somewhat of a strawman.
Edited by DWFII - 1/23/14 at 6:04pm