The question is: what works for you?
I'm sticking with Pat for now. Might give Yao a try. Will definitely go with Iris in Singapore at some point in time.
I don't really take issue with anything in your post aside from your statement about 75 cents being where the dollar 'should be'.
That exchange rate of AUD/USD = 0.75 might be good for Australian retailers because it'd force consumers back to them, but it has nothing to do with what actually sets the forex rates (supply and demand mainly).
Yes the AUD is considered slightly overvalued, but it's not by margins of 25%+ - more like 5c according to the RBA as of the beginning of the month. See here for further info (http://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/australian-dollar-overvalued--rba-003014632.html)
About those Mocc socks, it took about 2-3 weeks from the U.S.
However, they are a little iffy. The back, after a couple of hours, tends to slide down to the bottom of the heel, creating friction at the back of the foot. Also, they just fit me, and I am a UK7. They must have amazing elastine power to fit anything bigger than that!
They don't pill, which is good. But, how do you solve the problem where the sock slides down the back!?
In regards to local vs overseas buying, and also the ongoing raw denim conversation, I purchased some Edwin Sen (selvedge and fully Japanese made) jeans from Maple in Sydney yesterday. I had lusted over some 3sixteens for a while, but was too worried about sizing issues. I personally think fit is extra important for jeans, which makes buying online like playing Russian roulette.
For Sydneysiders, check out Maple for the raw denim game. Previously I had thought their pricing exorbitant (and it still is on stuff like Nudies), but $180 for the Edwins was relatively competitive with online options and quite a bit cheaper than 3sixteens. I'd guess 3sixteens probably have some nicer detailing, maybe slightly nicer denim and of course that great leather patch, but for $40 or so cheaper, with no online risk, give the Edwins a shot. They also have some Neuw selvedge stuff, but this didn't feel like raw denim to me and my only pair of Neuw jeans (purchased pre raw-denim obsession) had awful quality stitching. Nudies at $270 are a joke.