Yes, I have a few pairs of shell cordovan bluchers. The hard, smooth leather is easy to tell from softer leather, but it's entirely subjective as to which one looks better. I also have a few pairs of non-shell AE's. I'm looking forward to Xenon's challenge. It's unlikely people can tell a $100 suit from a $1000 suit without the aid of tell-tale logos. Also, research has proven that you can't tell the difference b/w a cheap and expensive bottle of wine.