i'm going to go against the grain and defend barker black here. i don't own any pairs yet, but hope to own one pair soon. i have a pair of c&j, a pair of egs for rlpl (with another on the way) and i've seen bb in person. i must say that they appear fairly well constructed to me. some lasts/styles are better than others. the leathers aren't as interesting as the antiquing on eg, but not many are imo (including lobb's museum calf, but i digress)? at full retail, i agree, i would rather buy a pair of eg's on discount. but, on sale, i think they are not necessarily a good value, but a fun shoe nonetheless. i think a lot fo the bb bashers on here haven't seen a pair in person. the skull and bones motif gets plastered around with close up shots, but from eye level down to feet level, it is really hardly noticeable, especially to the avg non-sf person. i appreciate what they are trying to do, even if it is novel.