I wore the dickens out of a pair of PHs ordered about 25 years ago, only change was to their standard leather, now on their 3rd sole. Then I added a pair of Navigator triple vamp Bowhunters but soled. They are on their second soles. Both were, and still are, outstanding boots. I ordered the PHs to specifically wear without socks, which wears boots out even quicker from the inside, but no problems with that.
A few years on I ordered a pair of the Krymperoos. Well made, good fit, but I never gelled with the Weathertuff. Loved the fine grain Kangaroo, though.
About that time is when things started going down. I picked up a pair of McIntosh Birdshooters off the sale page, fabulous, butter smooth suede, well made but never fit right (my fault for not ordering but they were a great price). Those went back. Then a pair of Knockabouts off the rack. They have never worked out and are in the back of the closet. Again, my fault. Learning my lesson, I ordered a pair of Imperials measured by the staff to make sure I got the right size. They came in months on down the line and looked terrible, really bad black dye job, didn't have the eyelets I expected, nothing like the pics of the boot I ordered, and just didn't fit quite right. They were returned for another go around. The boots that came in months later when I was overseas, I couldn't even get my foot into! They were NO WHERE near my size. This order had been going on over a year now and I didn't have a reliable way of returning until I made a trip back to the States. I finally carried them to a show and turned them back in straight to the crew. Months later (probably over two years since original order) I got a pair of plain Imperials. They fit but have the old Gro-Cord sole which is hard as a rock and negates the soft French veal leather in my opinion. Never gelled with these. There may be some others in there that came and went.
After that I tried a pair of Courteney boots from Zimbabwe and have been around the world in them. I used to say that my original PHs were the best boots I've ever owned but the Courteneys have surpassed them with better fit from their lasts (especially now that I'm wearing orthodics), better support from their construction, and one of the longest wearing, but still comfortable and useful soles I've ever had on a pair of boots.
With all that said, I just yesterday paid a visit to Russell's booth at the Safari Club show and got lured into a ordering two more pairs. A pair of the new Kangaroo PHs on the Munson last and a pair of Oneidas that I've always wanted. Lefty himself fitted me and updated my tracings and measurements. I like Russell's for what they are and what they represent. I considered myself a lifelong customer with the first two pairs I bought over 20 years ago. The problems I encountered with the off the rack boots I don't hold against them but the ordeal I had to deal with on the 3x ordered Imperials really pissed me off.
If you're going to go with Russell's I HIGHLY recommend getting custom but not going crazy trying to option out a pair too far away from standard. Educate yourself and know what you want to do with the boots/shoes. Russell's have no arch support or any other support on the inside, so these are not White's or even Alden's. The number one thing is patience. Make your decision, accurately trace and measure with the type of socks you'll wear, know what you want to do with the boots/shoes, place your order, and then forget about them. When the time comes for the expected delivery, let it go. A month after that date and they haven't shown up, then call and ask about them. Don't get your silk panties wadded if they don't show up with a FEDEX number and armed guard on the EXACT date/time that YOU expected. That will only frustrate you and they aren't going to get on your feet any faster. They were making Russell's well before you or I came along and with luck they will be making them well after, that is the life of custom made. If you can't handle that investment of time and patience then Russell's may not be for you and there are plenty of other shoe makers out there waiting to make you happy.