One of my local retailers, San Jose's Guitar Showcase, is featured in an article published by Knight Ridder newspapers, publishers of the San Jose Mercury News among others. Guitar Showcase truly is a great local store. It's a nice alternative to the mega Guitar Centers where no one knows anything and everyone is playing the latest death metal as loud as they can.
Guitar Showcase has it's share of low-end Fender and Gibson guitars but they also have a range of harder to find guitars including Peavey Woflgangs, Ibanez, Ovations, Taylors and some wonderful Parker guitars that I'm saving up for. There's also a nice selection of amps, drums, accessories, books etc.
More importantly, they have a vintage room (sounds like the "Champagne room" in a strip club) where there are dozens of vintage guitars including Fenders and Gibsons from the 1950's to 1970s, as well as classic vintage amps. Most of it is not for sale, but hey, you can always dream!
Guitar Showcase has been in business for 40 years and they are truly a great store with excellent service. If you're tired of the big stores that pile 'em high and live in the bay area, check them out. The store is located on Bascom avenue, just off the Camden avenue exit off Highway 17 in Campbell.