Yea mine are actually the lightest burnished walnut ones my AE store had (which I like) and the look lighter IRL than in this pic.
As to the raw leather, yep they switched all non "classics" (see strand, PA, 5A, McA) to raw. In a recent AMA Paul mentioned this was due to demand for more causal shoe features. But I have a feeling it trims a few bucks off COGS as well to streamline production as well. I agree the lining looks better. Mine have the raw edge, i don't mind it but over time (many years) I could see it breaking down a bit. And it does look more causal.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Vs the piping on a strand:
Can't wear either out tn due to rain, so dinite strandmoks it is! Cheers all.
I have to call fraud on Paul for this.