I feel the exact same way, I have worn Red Wings for 10+ years. I wear the Red Wing 1411 and have had 3 or 4 pair of this exact same boot all have been outstanding except for my last pair which took 5 weeks to get which is fine except when they tell me that "they are a week out" 5 TIMES!!!
After receiving my last pair they seemed extremely stiff and uncomfortable more-so than any other 1411 model i have ever had before, i figured this would go away after 2 or 3 days of use like my others had in the past, WRONG! They took weeks to break in, they actually wore blisters on my heels and a few times i had to change my boots at work because they were so uncomfortable, i have never had to do this with any other of my Red Wing boots and almost always had to with other cheaper brands of boots.
After about 3-4 weeks of use i noticed the leather on the toes of my boots were wearing and tearing more so that any other of of my previous Red Wings even after 6 months or so, and around that same time i was tying them up one morning and an eyelet pulled out of my left boot which has never happened on any other work boot Red Wing or not!
I am very displeased with this last pair of Red Wings, and even more so that i give such good praise about Red Wing boots to my friends that they went and bought Red Wings, hopefully they receive a better pair than i got...
I EXPECT MORE FROM RED WING, they should NOT sacrifice there quality or customer service unless they are joining many other sub-par companies in this country subbing out work and manufacturing to save a dime while there prices continue to rise, and if that is the case i say shame on you Red Wing and i will not continue to buy your below grade boot!