I'd like to jump into this debate. Rather than seen and handled, I have owned both the Marlow (RL Darlton) and the shell Sandringham. I sold my Marlow's within 3 wears about 1.5-2 years ago as they didn't really fit my style. I bought my Sandringham's recently from Leather Soul. The EG quality is there. It is not in the shell leather which I believe is sourced from the same place - Horween. To focus solely on the leather you dismiss EG's superior finishing, last, shoe trees, etc... The Sandringham's happened to cost me almost 4x the amount of the Marlow's - were they 4x better quality? Heck no. Are they better quality shoes, definitely yes. I think it would be unfair to only use shell shoes as a comparison when shell is almost always sourced from the same place and it is hard to really differentiate between. I have owned both the Lowndes and the Westminister. I can say without a doubt the the EG's are far superior to the C&J in every aspect. The quality of calf leather is just not even close. I also have owned Lobbs and while I love their colors and designs, their lasts just don't fit my foot as well as EG's.