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.
you've either never owned a good shell cordovan shoe or you're ignorant. on everything else i agree with 100%