For my tastes in instruments I generally have to have the dealer order it then when it comes in, I go to the store, check it out for 30 minutes or so then either take it home or wait for another one. I deal with Long and McQuade and sadly 90% of what they stock in the stores are Fenders, Gibsons and Epiphones. I don't care for Fender or Gibson so if I want a Gretsch or Ric for example I wait for it to come on. That seems to be the norm with most brick and mortar stores in SW Ontario these days. It's rare seeing a Proline Gretsch on the wall and I haven't seen a Ric in a store around here for about 10 years... And I've been quasi obsessing over a 620 and 1993Plus for the last few months but I'm 50/50 in the Ric QC area so I haven't pulled that trigger. Heh. Kinda funny. I've known the manager at the one L&M store for 25 years, just a great guy, and one day I popped in just to get some strings and he smiles, says there's something I should check out, goes behind the counter and takes a simply gorgeous Country Gent down and hands it to me. I didn't get it. My wife would have killed me but it was fab that he thought of me. I think it's a good thing to have that kind of relationship with your local store. I could order things online and possibly pay a little less but I paid my dues in retail management years ago and will always support my local store. I won't even order from L&M online and pick it up in the store. To me, it'd be a dick move because the store doesn't get credit for the sale.