Lock and Co do have very good customer service. I agree that it is a significant purchase for irregular wear. We all know that the top panamas go for thousands and even a half decent one you need to spend around the £250 mark. I have never owned what I would call a real one. Can one really feel the difference when wearing a Bates / Lock & Co panama and do they really keep your head cool? Most seem to have the leather internal head band, does this cause one to sweat? What are peoples' views on bespoking the external headband or is this considered rather naff? I understand that the black external colour band was a nod to Prince Albert's death, has anyone any other views on this?