I'm on the fence with purchasing some C&J Lowndes in brown. The deal is, I would have never looked twice at a pair of monkstraps before joining StyleForum. I've rarely seen them in San Diego. I'm pretty sure I've never seen them before in my office. My girlfriend - who works in a vintage clothing store and is a tatted-up indie fashion chica - says "don't do it". Yet, since joining StyleForum and seeing pics and the like, I've become a bit fascinated. For one, I didn't know you could pull these off with jeans and other casual-wear. They seem to be able to inhabit a space like wingtips... and I've found to come to love my AE Merlot McAllisters like no other, despite being the cheapest shoes in my rotation. And I used to think wingtips were dorky. I wanted to give this some more consideration down the road and eventually purchase a pair from PLAL. But since their online sales operation is about to shut down my days are numbered, and I certainly won't be paying some $550+ for them. So is there anyone out there who bought some monks only to come to regret it later on?