After trying on several boots, I settled on the Asolo…
Materials: Perwanger leather, gore-tex
Use: multi-day backpacking, dayhikes
Break-in Period: maybe 15 hours, in- and out-doors
Price Paid: $245 (CDN)
After trying on several boots, I settled on the Asolo 575. I wasn't sure what Perwanger leather was, but finally got word from the Asolo people and decided it is good (it's just full-grain with the rough side out, rather than smooth side out. This apparently handles scuffs better, as well as giving it a different look).
I wore these around the house for a week or so, then used them on some day hikes to help break them in. I only had one blister the whole time, and that was only after a prolonged steep decent on the bottom of a big toe.
Recently I spent a very rainy week on Chilkoot Trail in Alaska with a group of seven friends. Besides the rain, there were many stretches of snow and ankle-deep creeks. After the worst day of all this water, I was the only one with dry feet at the end of the day. Of note, all of us had treated our boots with Nikwax before leaving on the trip. (Note: I used the full-grain nikwax, which does darken the Perwanger noticably, but I really don't care about cosmetics when choosing hiking boots...actually I thought they looked better dark!).
I don't know if it was the Gore-tex or just the fact that my boots were newer than most of my friends', but my dry feet were the envy of all others. Also, I had no blisters during the trip. So I love these boots so far, and the Gore-tex seems to be a good thing.