I've also tried to stay out of this topic as it seems to be a no win situation. But it keeps coming back.
My thoughts are expressed very well by watersprites words above. They aint worth diddly squat to me with rare exceptions.
I've never understood why so many feel duty bound to support someone who makes their living by selling the goods and supplies for the sport they choose for their recreation. A decision to do so? That's fine. Help out a friend? You bet. But a duty? PuLeeeeeez! Spare Me!
I don't have fly shops around and that's just fine with me. Generally, what I've seen when I visit them leaves a lot to be desired. For me, price talks and as far as information goes, I'm more than happy to figure things out on my own - I like it better that way.