Thank you, that was very helpful!
The only shoe that seems to fit my price range of $200 or less is this one from Charles Tyrwhitt:
The next closest are these wholecut meermins, in which the subtracted VAT will likely cancel out the shipping charge:
or their two models of cap toe:
I found some pairs of Loake on herringshoes.co.uk for much cheaper, but they were all listed as "polished", which apparently is a euphemism for corrected grain leather and something to avoid. Everything else in leather on their website was out of my price range.
Can anyone suggest another shoe worth looking at? And what is the difference between the two meermins? It seems they are both on the same last...
From what I can see, the difference between the two Meermins is in the stitching, and in the number of eyelets. I slightly prefer model b), simply because the stitching looks more "classic", similar to Edward Green Chelsea for example, IMHO the quintessential black oxford:
But, in practice the difference is very small, and both should serve you well.