I just received my "Darlton" shell cordovan pennyloafers, and I must say, they are a bit of a let down.
You sound pretty disappointed, you should return them. These shoes aren't the be all end all of shoes, they are probably just a step above alden shells.
I saw the loafers at Stanford RL tonight, just a few hours ago, and I wouldn't buy them either for $300.
For me the wingtips are an ultimate of a certain style, something I have been looking for. Blucher+CJ+shell+brown+double sole, etc.