I purchased the Shimano shoe due to the positive reviews they got online, but I recall a long break in period, finally feeling "right" at the 1 year mark. The first week produced hot spots and a corn, which I submitted to as being "...oh, this is just a new shoe thing..."
I went through a number of orthopedic sole inserts to keep them from giving me hot spots, and finally they felt right with a Dr. Scholls. Construction-wise, the M161's held up much better than the Specialized Comps, but these were far inferior in the fit department.
When these shoes finally felt right, the sole started to lose its stiffness, and on my last few rides - especially ones with long downhills - I got significant hot spots. The buckle system never failed, but the material stretched to the point where I'd ratchet it down to the very maximum to keep them snug. Water, rain, mud and hike-a-bike didn't phase these and the stitching held up quite nicely.
I was not nice to these shoes. I raced CX with them, stomped through mud and crossed creeks. So, considering that water and heat are the worst thing you can do to a shoe, I rate these as a good value at $150 (now on discount at Nashbar). I personally did not like the initial fit, and battled with hot spots for quite some time before I found the right insert; you may not have this problem.
I'm looking forward to killing another pair of shoes. The Rimes felt perfect on the first ride, with no hot spots or tightness, even with my poor cleat adjustment. I hope Specialized has improved the construction in terms of longevity which, by their looks, they have.
*I purchased this product on my own accord. The Specialized nor Shimano did not give, offer at discount, or barter with me for this review. I submit my reviews with an honest assessment of real world testing.