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.
You should be the same size in the Trubalance and Barrie. Long wings are classic, and whether they would be ideal for a wedding or interview really all depends on you and on the circumstances. You can be sure #8 LWBs have been worn to both, and probably with pin stripes. There are gentlemen here who can offer more advice on pairing #8 with suits than I can. That being said, the style, with its heft and broguing, is on the less formal side as you mention. They are going to go very well with denim and chinos. And a black calf cap toe from AE is probably a good shoe to have in your wardrobe. Take care of it and you'll always have a conservative shoe when you need it. AE does go on sale too, so keep your eye out for that. You can sign up for emails from AE themselves, and Sherman Brothers offers sale prices too.
And speaking of, I definitely recommend visiting Sherman Brothers. It is a classy operation and, as I recall from the last time I was in the store, the Aldens had prices on the soles that were lower than those listed online. I think you may get a little bit of a discount for shopping in store (and no worries about sales tax when shopping in Pa., of course). The Philly guys on this thread may be able to confirm this.