I've always had great luck with picking up gear as it goes out of rotation at higher end shops. Right place at right time kind of thing. Got my first (and still going
) Panny Plasma TV as a demo unit. Recently picked up a speaker package that was 1/2 price because they are discontinued and selling off remaining inventory etc. I wouldn't have been able to get into a boutique brand otherwise.
I am also a true beleiver in supporting the local ma and pa brick and mortar stores that are still around.
This way I can get awesome value and know exactly what I'm getting. I am also a big fan of demoing in a treated and acoustically designed room-- so I have something to strive for at home. Always reaching for just a little closer to the "store sound."