I notice Lands' End has some interesting captoe bals in black and cordovan. They're welted and the leather looks nice, at least in the pic. The reason I mention it is because they're just $159 at full retail.
If you zoom in on the black pair, there's some crazy business with the stitching, which makes me wonder about QC. But the cordovan pair looks fine, and Lands' End's return policy can't be beat. Only size 8 left in the black, but several sizes in the cordovan. If these are as nice in RL as they look in the pic, they might make decent shoes for someone starting out/on a budget. I can't vouch for them, but if anyone orders them, I'd be interested to hear a review. EDIT: They also have driving mocs
on sale for $39.50.