So, here's the value of the mom and pop shop. I got the new enlarger, a 50mm lens, an extra used neg carrier, an extra used lens board, an extra lamp, and a nice used safelight (I was using a crappy one) for $400.00. For an extra $20.00, I got a "project" Dual Dichroic head w/35mm and 6x6 mixing boxes. It could use some work on the fan, and it's ugly, but seems to work fine as is.

I hauled the whole mess home to try out. I didn't pony up any money, and I didn't sign anything. That kind of treatment is worth money to me.

I don't mean to go on a rant-and-rave, but this is a sore spot with me. I work for a mom and pop shop in another industry (theatrical lighting). We've been in business 25 years, I've been there 13 years, and among the principals we have easily 100+ years experience in the business. Yet every day we battle to justify our prices, which are a modest amount above the cheapest internet dogs.

Don't get me wrong: I buy online sometimes. But I've also come to think that the lowest price is not always the best price.