These days, I'm going towards jeans with minimal distressed detailing in any case, so I was really only looking at the Maz Dark wash in the Earnest Sewns (otherwise, agreed). Of the premium brands, I would go with Joie, except that, like Rogan, their jeans fall apart alarmingly fast. Seven has some good basic washes, and they haven't skyrocketed their prices, unlike, say Paper Denims. I mean, there was no need to jack the wholesale so that the price of a pair of GTO 1-years went to $182 (at most major stores) from $160 (or so.) They (Seven) went a little too far a little too long in their designs, and now they have stretch jeans (repeat after me: not for men, not for men) but the original New York Dark bootcut is, in my mind, a terrific jean, and a relative bargain at only $130 or so. Not sure about their Relax fit jean though. Although I've seen at least one guy wear them to good effect, most guys I see wearing them are fat and *need* them, which diminishes the effect (they are supposed to hand low and loose.) I guess you can't blame the company for misuse of their products though. Of course, I love Paper Denim's classic washes and cuts (GTO-1 year, LTD Metro 1 (sadly discontinued,) ICN Clone wash (also apparently discontinued, for no good reason I can think of - it was their most distinctive jean wash by far)) and even some of their more fashiony stuff (the LIT-Light and LIT-dark are made from thankfully sturdy denim, with minimal distressing). I* have other cuts and washes as well, but am not in love with them. Carpe has nice cuts too, but I haven't had a chance to test them out yet. I have a pair of G Stars in the low boot cut. It has interesting vertical striations in the denim. Sadly, I think that this comes from using thick, soft yarns in weave, and I am not confident that they will stand the test of time. Of course, nothing still holds a candle to APC for a simple, durable, "classic" jean. Better than even old Levi's IMO.