I love reading this thread and the Allen Edmonds Appreciation thread. While there really is no excuse for some of the flaws that have made it out of both factories, I've never seen such a bunch of shoe hypochondriacs. Let's face it, if you want perfection, you need to drop more cash. There's no such thing as a perfect Alden, it's just not in their DNA. I love the Alden aesthetic and like buying US. But as prices have continued to rise without a commensurate jump in quality, the marginal utility of adding another pair of them to my wardrobe is declining rapidly. The price of Alden calf is now approaching Carmina territory which, in my opinion, is a far superior product. While I'll continue picking up the occasional Alden make-up, I'm hopeful more retailers start stocking Carmina...paging LS and Leffot.
REguy, well stated. Like your post.