I agree. I have purchased items from Central Camera in Chicago, and support Peoria Camera in my hometown. The ability to walk into a camera store and actually hold the item in your hands before you buy it, receive advice from those who understand the equipment, and help you decide what will best suit your needs is essential to an expensive purchase like a new or used camera. Big box stores like Walmart, Best Buy, or Fry's cannot offer this.
I go to Chicago once a year for the Marathon and always drop in to this place that can only be called one of the most interesting camera stores anywhere. Central Camera is really cool.