Yet, as I look around many a Mainstreet, seeing closed stores, franchises, banks and too many damn "wireless" businesses, it seems to me that we are quicky bargaining away much of our former charm in favor of the big-box discount and impersonal service. Indeed the mom and pop stores are increasingly the exception. Add internet sales - what could be a more impersonal and unilateral experience!
When I go into a neighborhood store, I generally get what I need, fast and appreciatve service and even someone who remembers me. Compare this to the typical megastore experience in which I often wander aimlessly looking for help only to find someone not so helpful - if at all. I spent an hour once waiting on line for a custom gallon of house paint, knowing all along that for five bucks more I would have been in and out of my neighborhood store. Five dollars well spent I say! If you have a favorite shop or two where you are treated royally and get great service, consider making your purchase there rather than deferring to the next megastore excursion. Otherwise, you have only yourself to blaim when its a shuttered storefront or yet another Verizon/ATT/etc. store.
Price and value are not interchangeable, even more so if your own time is one of the things you value.