Sadly, you are not missing anything and what you see is the end product of decline in American footwear that has been decades in the making. At one time there were dozens of US based shoemakers who made a wide range of shoes. Even Florsheim had a line of higher end Imperials that were on par with Alden. Competition came in, construction was outsourced, material quality dropped and we eventually have shiploads of rubber soled shoes coming in cargo ships from China. Alden and Allen Edmonds are among the very few US makers who still exist.
So guys head out to the local mall for "dress shoes" and this usually means anything that is not a cross trainer. Even if one wished to see better shoes, it is often impossible. I live in Los Angeles, which is hardly small or a backwater of commerce. I must drive 75 miles each way to the ONLY AE store between Palo Alto and the Mexican border. One store for 22 million people. There is a single store in Beverly Hills that carries a few Alden shoes and that is about it. I am unaware of any location that sells CJ, GG, Church's or some of the other shoes you mentioned. The guys in your town buy what is available. One must actively look and be willing to pay many times the price of the rubber sole loafer to wear higher end footwear.