With LPS being your local photo shop, do you buy new cameras and accesories where you can hold and try them?
I'm in the market for a P&S ($250 max) with good photo quality and reasonable shutter lag. I get the impression that no P&S warrant adjectives like excellent when it comes to shooting stuff that's moving (kids, pets, etc.)
It's tough to gage camera speed without trying it. I cannot do that at the big box stores because their display cameras are tethered and not powered for obvious reasons. Local photo shops would allow testing, holding, etc and their prices are higher.
So, where did you buy your last digital camera?...big box, online retailer, or locally?