Wow, I guess I didn't think my question would spark so much debate. Thanks to all who chimed in. I've never reached the EG / GG price threshold, but have been considering it lately. I have too many dress shoes that I don't wear from "lower-tier" manufacturers. I've been considering selling off several bals and replacing them with one pair of really top-quality dress shoes, since I'm in a suit once a week at the most.
Well, we do love our shoes and are passionate about it. In all honesty, to put it back in perspective, there is no "REAL" difference between the two. To go back to your question, yes they are both highly comparable and you would be happy with either. Fit and design matter the most when choosing between the brands. You might not like the look of GG shoes then there's no real reason to compare. However, if you wanted a strict comparison of the two, GG is better lately in terms of quality, timeliness, and finish. The big issues some members such as myself and rydenfan had may be isolated but you deserve to be aware of them. Not to say you will be getting an AE shoes but it's just that there's a little bit more attention to detail, a couple months faster delivery, and that can make all the difference to some people. I mean, Bauxite and Vintage Cherry start out the same way but you never see Bauxite shoes yet Vintage Cherry St James is like the most popular GG shoe.
I'll let it die now.