I have owned some shack stuff. In the 70's I bought my first stereo from them. I could have gotten better for what I paid. Most of their stuff is overpriced, but My current OTA antenna is a $35 RS and its sweet!
You're right, staff ranges from pimply face kids without a clue to true electronics nerds. You can't keep those kind of people on the money they pay them.
They're changing for the worse. They want to sell you a cell phone, not electronic parts. I wish they were more like they used to be. That being said, I Don't know where else to buy a blister pack of 3 resistors (for $4.99!) without waiting for the mail, so I hope they don't fold or stop selling those overpriced parts!
If only FRYS would expand and have more stores. They have just about EVERYTHING I need. I ALWAYS go there whenever I go to Vegas! (I must be some kinda geek, huh?)