I have a large number of AEs (Without going to the closet and counting I'd say at least 20) I don't ever remember paying full retail. I've owned some of them over 20 years and I've had a few recrafted. (They all came back looking brand new) I'm delighted with all of them. FWIW I have a few pair of J&Ms from the late 50s to mid 60s. They're timeless classics and I generally like them better than AE or Alden. You just can't get them anymore. Todays J&M is just crap.