FWIW, my experience.....I've handled mostly AE, an Alden and C&J (both by BB) before running into StyleFo. Average of these items are 15+ years old. I was never into the details on craftmanship, material, sourcing and etc..All I knew was the quality label synonymous to the brands. Although I have read about JL, only at this fora that I learned about EG, G&G, Vass, Carmina, St. Crispin, Cleverly, AS etc, not to mention construction, materials, and lasts..For a while, I was so obsessed acquiring an austerity wingtip, either by EG or St Crispin. Can I afford it? Yes, which is all I cared about during the time I was contemplating of the purchase. But the more I read and followed discussions, it occurred to me a few other questions that I should be asking. Fit? maintenance? availability? lifestyle? Well, I don;t wear suit everyday (I wish I can), I work from home twice a week. SC/trousers on days I'm in the office and 3-4 times a year in suiting when meeting with Sr. Execs. I also came to realize that acquiring those shoes does not really satisfy my needs based on my current and social environment. I guess I just don't want them bad enough. I have acquired a shell, suede and a couple of items for casual settings, which is more in tune with my current style evolution. Things might and will change, but until then..... Now, looking back to when I started as a professional 18 years ago and wishing I had the knowledge back then, would I buy a 1000K shoe(s) ? YES I will. I try to invest on finer but fewer pieces. Other may disagree on fewer items(shoes), this is StyleForum after all. ...as a compromise on austerity brogue, I am still thinking of C&J Drummond in Beechnut as a special order. I try to ignore GDot's pictures of his own to minimize the temptation. Not sure how much longer I can manage.