I like my "local" camera store, but it's nearly an hour into town and on the third busiest street in the city. I usually go there when I have other business in the area. The overhead is high and so are the prices. Even considering shipping and handling, I spend less money buying online.

I've never had a problem buying on line. I've found packages at my stoop with chilled film inside them even in the summer. (I live at the same latitude as Algiers!). My biggest problem is the cyclic nature of inventories, such as last year when I wanted some Oreiental Seagull VCFB Warmtone and everyone was out for 4-6 months. My photo store doesn't carry Oriental, so I didn't bother going into town for it.

I'd pay a premium to be able to hold equipment in my hands and see how it works before buying it, but the used market in my area doesn't exist. I don't own a camera newer than twenty years old.