I think this is an interesting question. Whilst I haven't done any kind of proper comparison, I suspect that price points for Loake/AE are higher than for the equivalent shoes from Florsheim - might be wrong, but I think that is the case. And, given the reluctance of the average Aussie male to spend any real money on shoes (not to mention the paucity of options), then there is clearly a place for Florsheim.
There is a lot of disdain for the current Florsheims here - perhaps it is warranted. Their cheaper shoes look pretty bad. I will say that, just on looks alone, if you were to wear shoes from the (Imperial) upper end/more conservative part of their range, you would be doing better than 90+% of men who wear business shoes for work. Then, if you don't wear the same pair every day and give them a regular polish, well, you'd be not too shabby at all.
I actually ended up buying a pair of Loakes as I managed to try a few on at DJs (I ordered from HerringShoes in the UK eventually, however) and the Loakes fit and felt a lot better for my narrower feet than the equivalents I could find in Florsheim's Royal Imperial line. That's not to say the Royal Imperials were shabbily constructed for the price point - the Royal Imperial brogues I saw were only 190 dollars on sale, and were hefty and seemingly well made. I think at that kind of price point it's hard to be too harsh on a fully goodyear welted shoe. The normal Imperials though, seem to have glued rather than welted construction (as far as I can tell). The stitching seems decorative, so to speak, in comparison to the Royal Imperials.
Analogous to the relative scarcity of quality shoe establishments in Australia at a reasonable pricepoint (ordering things online aside) - I've found it almost impossible to find a decent briefcase locally, and I've been searching for a month now. I've very tempted to just give up and order a briefcase through Saddleback Leather, as everywhere else seems to offer horrendously made/corrected-grain/nylon-lined crap at ridiculous prices (see Marcs, Calibre, CK, Oroton, Coach etc). Anyone know of decent options at the sub $500 price point?