When we were discussing my shoes I mentioned that I was disappointed that I had worn away the name of the maker of the shoe and he said that either they probably weren't made anymore or the quality wouldn't be nearly as good anyway! When I countered that they were only 12 years old (apparently that's a long time for shoes!) he said that I would be shocked at the quality of even high end shoes that are made today.
They resoled my shoes and polished them up a bit and they are, happily, as good as new! At any rate, as I haven't bought another pair of black ballet flats in 12 years I would say that I certainly got my money's worth!