I have used C&J as an example and the 348 last for both photos, so that we compare apples to apples. To me, the Alex is just a much nicer shoe, with a suit, or with a sweater.
So my challenge to you: sell me on a cap toe.
They serve completely different purposes. The cap-toe is a very conservative, classic business shoe. The wholecut is much less consevative, and arguably has no place in the business world. Now if you happen to be in a very casual business environment, chances are, no one cares if you wear a wholecut to work.
I find it hard to believe that there are many workplaces where anyone - other than an SFer - would notice the difference. Certainly in my workplace management wear brown brogues to the office all too often.
That said, I agree with the above points that wholecut shoes look bland. The only plain toe shoes I have in black are monks, which gives a different visual element to itself.
Buy what you like. There isn't a style of shoe that I particularly dislike, but if there were, I wouldn't be looking to be sold on it by those who hold a different aesthetic preference.
I'm not a huge cap toe fan, but it is a safe and conservative choice that will offend no-one. If conformity is your main goal in dressing for business, you could hardly make a better choice.
I like wholecuts very much but don't presently own a pair. The lines have to be REALLY right on such a shoe, else they can kind of look like shapeless blobs.
I have a particular dislike for mid-brown closed lace brogues. Why? Pointless, pointless shoes.
The only way to sell you on a shoe you don't like is if you have a need for that shoe. If you work in a professional environment then the cap-toe is de rigeuer. If not, then you probably shouldn't wear them. Think of it like part of a uniform. If you don't wear the full thing, people will notice.