I would like to point out something that is more qualitative than pure money vs. quality. AE has a much larger range of widths than Carmina and many other of the higher-than-AE-end shoe makers (other than of course the bespoke guys). Their lasts are also really good combination lasts, for the most part (even though they don't really bill them as such) much better than, say, that other USA-shoe maker whose "combination" lasts are laughable. I think that no one can really argue whether Carmina is higher-quality or not, just one look and you can see it in the stitching. And some of their shoes are offered in EE by default, with no normal widths, so yes I'm taking that into account. But at the end of the day, for variety of sizes and fits, not to mention the availability of (relatively) dirt-cheap seconds, AE doesn't have much competition. For those of you with normal width feet, though, carry on debating.