I love my Doc Martens! My first pair is about 15 years old and they still are going strong... I wear Docs as part of normal apparel, so I kinda have alot of them. (not wanting to push a stereotype, I'm female... and I got the shoe gene- 'Nuff said) None of them have reinforced toes, we're not required to have that here unless we are wearing something that someone could look at and think is a sneaker. To that end, I have some Skecher sneaks with steel toes and they are so comfortable! And being a metallic leather, they make a statement, too (very important to shoe girls)(And rather George Jetson does the nuke plant, too!).
Additionally, Unca Buff- I got them on sale! Normally $100, I paid only $20 for them. I guess it depends on where you go to find the sale shoes. Cheap shoe stores have cheap shoes, pretty much. You're coming to SLO, it's a shoe mecca, verifitably! Maybe you'll find something once you're out here?