I personally think that Allen Edmonds dominates its own segment of the market. It's a very high quality shoe that draws comparison to Alden / C&J / Church ,etc. but still can be found between the 200-300 price point sometimes.
With regards to the original question, I own a pair of AE Strands and also Bruno Magli Maiocos. In my opinion, they are two very different shoes, and I do have a favorite.
The Bruno Maglis are extremely comfortable, and the leather is as soft as a baby's bottom. They make business trips a pleasure, but they also have their downsides for as creases can form very easily. They also just don't look like they will last as long. In fact, a part of the inside has already started to peel off, which I need to get fixed with a bit of glue. Mind you, I've only worn them five or six times.
The Allen Edmonds are much less comfortable, and a bit stiff. However, I've worn them enough for them to break in a bit, and the uncomfortableness has decreased dramatically. They look amazing, are constructed very well, and look like they will stand the test of time. Once you get past the initial discomfort, they turn out to be solid shoes, made in the USA by a solid company.
So in all, I like both shoes, and think that if you can find either on sale, they become a good value (Maiocos I got for $150, not $425 though), but overall I think AEs are a more solid shoe.
Depending on where you live, AEs are more accessible to most Americans. Except for those who live in NYC, most Americans do not have easy access to English and Italian made shoes, except for a few Italian shoes sold at Saks/NM/Nordstroms. I wear my AE PAs more often than my BM captoe oxfords, although both are very good quality shoes.
What do you guys think of Magnanni v. Allen Edmonds?
I've looked at Magnanni and they were just too long for my foot. If you are more of the stylish person, Magnanni is a good choice. What fits is what I go with and AE are the few high-end brands that fit.