I have had a range of different experiences with music stores. Some of them were great and some even gave great deals. Most others have been so rude that I vowed never to shop there again. It confuses me how you can be a music store worker or owner and be so rude to customers. Some of them seem to hate what they do, yet it is not a job you do for the money, so why are they there? I know there are a lot of stupid people they have to deal with, I have a lot of retail experience myself and so I have experience in that area, but that doesn't excuse the attitude and behavior exhibited by so many music store employees.
I miss one of the music stores I used to live near, the guy was always super friendly and we would just hang out and talk, he gave great deals and was just really nice to everyone. I have been shopping my guitars around recently and see that there are still some good places out there (which is a requirement to me, I have standards for where I will sell them). I don't mind spending an extra dollar or two to help out a local store and in turn help out the local music scene (which most stores help contribute to). But there are times I do end up buying stuff online too because some things are so much cheaper online or just not available locally.
When it comes to buying an instrument, I will definitely need to try it in person before buying and I don't want to sell one to someone without them trying it either. No two instruments are exactly the same and even when they are made the same, by a machine, from the same materials, there can still be differences enough to be a deal breaker to some people. I have seen forums discussing the wide variations of a single model in size, weight and tone just in a single line of factory guitars made to a specific spec. With mine, they are handmade so they are all very different. Others may not be so picky but for me I need to play it and compare it to a lot of others, even ones I don't think I would like, just to get a good feel.