(This is a skate post so scroll through if it's not your thing)
Out with the old-ish... Ok I know it's a pretty hard thing to ignore, but putting aside the defiant sole, the @nbnumeric 344's were one of the better shoes I've skated. They look good on foot even after being worn and skated for around 3 months, and they never tore through the upper or tread. I never had to dig out my Shoe Goo or change any laces, so for the most part they held their own. The boardfeel the 344s offer are second to none, but definitely invest in insoles if you intend on jumping down anything more than 4 stairs.
All in all, if glue had been used a little more liberally during manufacturing, and a couple extra bucks were put into insole quality, New Balance would have themselves a tech masterpiece.
The glaring issue that is the sole has made me a little dubious of the newer 345's (pictured behind), but I'm still excited to put them to work.