There is nothing wrong with AE; they have a couple of attractive lasts and are frequently on discount like you said. Meermin wouldn't be my first recommendation because of the service and delivery issues, but there are other options: I'd recommend Loake for an English style at an affordable price: their Indian-made L1 range are on the same lasts as the more expensive ones and use the same uppers and soles, and are sub$200 at full price.
Check out www.pediwear.co.uk, for three reasons: 1. they have a good range of the above, and others. 2. their customer service is great, as is their website that is easy to search by size, brand, type etc. And 3. they use EMS for postage, meaning if you're in the US you will receive your shoes via USPS, avoiding extra processing fees and possibly avoiding customs duties altogether.
Regarding ties, I did answer you that thetiebar.com is really not bad at all, in that as long as you choose a tasteful pattern, $15-20 is the going rate and the service and selection are good. I have a couple I wear regularly - the knitted ones are very fashionable these days; I also have one more muted grenadine that's perfectly smart.
Oops....just used my brain and seen you're in Singapore. Sorry. In which case try out www.herringshoes.co.uk too - regular sales, nice selection and again brilliant service: they use DHL or Fedex.