Talk about anything you like not related to the above forums
Yeah, there's still a COUPLE of old time computer shops like that in this area. I do know the B-more & DC area was FULL of them when I was back East, and so was (somewhat surprisingly IMO) the Frederick, MD area. I used to go to Frederick all the time (less traffic than Bmore or DC) for the swap meets, shops, and such. Not much in my actual area I lived in, but Baltimore, DC, and Frederick were all within an hours drive.
By far, yes it's gone. The internet and no need to pay for physical storefront killed it. Even as awesome as they were, they simply couldn't compete (in most cases) with internet pricing. I know some simply switched to internet only sales simply because it was easier than having to haggle with annoying customers. So the very thing they built ended up killing them. I do agree, I miss them. I LOVED walking around the computer shows haggling with sellers to try to get a $5 discount on the latest processor or video card. Running back and forth between vendors comparing specs on new cases or boards. Some of the best times in my life. I and several guys I knew would all go down together, and we'd come back sometimes with 3-4 new pc's worth of equipment.
Being able to barter/trade was the biggest thing for me. Many of us didnt have a lot of cash so we had to make the best of it. The hanging out with friends, gaming, working on systems and offering help was amazing.