The newer made in USA and Italy models are perfectly serviceable, especially if you are buying for yourself and they fit well. I tend to consider them filler shoes until something better comes along. That's easy to do, as we tend to see similar prices for all the shoes we come across. If we were paying commiserate with quality at the retail level, I wouldn't be spending the extra required to upgrade.
Edit: Doh, AE's... yeah, I'd go to that level. Not a big retail price difference, but a noticeable quality difference between J&M to AE.
All that metal in the heel helps with durability, but can make them slippery on certain surfaces.
(too slow, as usual)