I keep reading posts, and everyone keeps recommending Nashbar or Performance over the local guys.
I know there are great deals to be found on these sites; I was looking at a pair of shoes that Nashbar was selling at almost half the cost of what our shop pays wholesale. But there's something to be said about buying at the Local Bike Shop. First, it's Local; you're supporting your neighbors, friends, etc. Second, online discount houses don't give advice; they'll sell you whatever you ask for, whether or not if it'll work on your bike. Third, after shipping costs, sometimes those deals aren't deals anymore. Forth, it's just nice going to a non-virtual spot and hanging out with like-minded bikedorks. (Heck, somebody in one post referred going to Peter White for Nokians! He's a small independent, I love his site, he's has great information and products, but any LBS with a Quality Bicycle Product account can get those tires!)
I know there's a lot of DIY, thrifty (NOT cheap per se!) bike nuts out there, who are simply trying to get the best ride out of their buck; I can't blame them. But it would be nice to see more general or even specific referrals to LBSs when possible.