I really do appreciate all the responses, guys. I feel compelled to get a cordovan shell since the price is only a tad bit higher than the calfskin. That said, I love the #8 color. I always liked burgundy more than black and found it more versatile as well.
So for the suggestion to consider Allen Edmonds for starting out, if I'm set on cordovan, I notice the price margin is relatively small between AE and Alden in this aspect so I may as well go with the latter, right?
I understand the cap toe or PTB is most appropriate for a wedding and interview but I'm having a hard time resisting this LWB in #8... http://www.shermanbrothers.com/product.php?ItemId=1116&ProductId=208
I'm thinking these could be used a little less formally, getting more wear out of them, while still being worn at a wedding so long as the rest of my attire isn't off, i.e., wearing a pin stripe suit with them. My internships and interviews are at least six months away which'll give me more time to acquire a nice cap toe by AE.
Also I wore a 10.5 on a trubalance in a plain toe boot.. safe to assume I'll also wear the same on a barrie? Sherman Brothers is only a two hour drive from where I live so a quick return wouldn't be difficult if need be.