I agree that wholecuts are no serious sin (unlike punch caps . . .), but they are also not perfectly correct and I have no more need for black wholecuts than I do for pumps, slippers, or a patent oxford. If I must buy a new pair of shoes specifically for black tie, I figure I might as well hew close to the established orthodoxy. As of the moment, I'm deciding between the patent balmorals from Alden on the Plaza last, or the same shoe in regular black calf. Leaning toward the patent. I briefly considered a covered placket but I wanted an excuse to get cool studs.