My 2 cents on the matter ....
The lust for rare shell is a curious thing. In some ways I feel sorry for the fellas that stumble across this thread and think only in terms of whiskey and ravello (and who could blame them, given the comments made on here some days).
I wear Aldens for business and casual, and in a variety of settings. I have various models of each color.
Leaving black shell out of the analysis altogether (and I like black shell - wearing the Alden for BB perf captoe bal today), Color 8 is the most versatile, followed closely be cigar. Then it's ravello, followed by whiskey.
The ravello LWB may be the best looking shell LWB (in terms of uniqueness), but if forced to choose I would take my cigar LWB over it. And I own both. The whiskey LWB, which I also own, is a grail shoe for some Alden fans. That is fine, and it is a very nice shoe. I wear mine maybe 5 times a year. I would easily choose any of the colors, including black, in the LWB, over whiskey. And the preceding sentence was not meant to offend anyone - just calling it like I see it.
For someone just starting out, I would suggest getting whiskey after about number 10. Get some color 8 and cigar first (and black if you are so inclined), and then move on to ravello and whiskey. And also, to the extent possible, learn your correct size.
very well stated