you're absolutely correct.
though i'm not speaking expressly about cordovan. i would never own a cordovan dress shoe. i think the shine is tacky/cheap looking in a formal setting. IMO, calf looks far more elegant on a proper black balmoral.
there are also far better constructed shoes than alden, i own 5 pairs of alden's, 2 john lobb's, 1 church's, and two crockett's. far and away, they are all constructed more precisely and to a higher standard than alden. of my 5 alden's... 3 have had factory damage. one a tear in the brogueing, loose threads, gaps in the heel tap, etc. i don't love them any less, for the stuff they are good at, they are the best... custom make ups, boots, etc.
on the flip, no boot looks as good as a sleek cordovan boot. cordovan looks fantastic on a penny (LHS) or nearly any loafer for that matter.
I too like the English makers.
And, since you mentioned JL above, as but one example of a non-Alden shoe, I own a double monk dark brown calf John Lobb that is perhaps the finest double monk shoe I have ever seen. Moving on.
This (bold) makes it hard to take you seriously. It really does. I have calf and shell shoes for formal settings. I easily prefer shell, but I have no problem if another prefers calf. If you prefer calf, fine - but to then say shell looks tacky/cheap makes you lose credibility, and appear almost silly.
I have all the brands you speak of, though my total comes in around seven-fold of yours.