Just thought I could chime in with some newbie takes on the local shops. I just got back into the hobby after decades away, and while setting up the tank I drove around and visited pretty much every shop I could.
Golden Aquarium: My favorite shop. Started going there because we called around pricing Ehein filters, and they had the lowest price (tied with Tropiquatics) When I went in to buy, the owner took a ton of his time to show me how to assemble the filter, valuable tricks for making it more efficient and really went above and beyond, even though I hadn't even said I was going to purchase. We've had great success with their fish, plants and gear. First stop for everything.
Fish Planet: I really like this shop, just wish it was closer to Chicago. Probably the cleanest shop, laid out well and the owner seems like a great guy. I once saw a dead fish in a tank and he was on it in a flash without me saying anything. They have lovely stock, and the plants rotate through quickly. It is more expensive that other shops for stock, but the quality and health make that worth it.
Old Town Aquarium: Probably the nicest looking shop around, they have very healthy stock and you can tell they take great care of the fish. We jokingly call it the hipsterquarium, as they have a bit of attitude, but I'd credit that to the obnoxious neighborhood they work in every day. The prices are higher, and parking a pain (however you can park in the theater lot on North and validate with $20 purchase) but overall a very good shop.
New Fish: A nice smaller shop, they tend to be heavy on saltwater, but do have some nice fresh as well. We got fish with ich there, so I don't think the stock was as good, but it seems like they keep things very clean otherwise. Prices seem good.
Living Sea: Very cool store, but I haven't purchased stock there since they always seem to have everything but the one oddball fish or plant I'm looking for.
Old Orchard: Was hesitant to go back there after a bad experience years ago (we had a string of Bettas die, and it took a lot of trial and error before we realized it was from the food we purchased from them, which they sold to us as an open jar at a discount as it was the last one left. ) They have a great selection of tanks and everything else, but I always feel like they're giving me advice thats heavy on on the upsell/buy now, to the point of not wanting to be in the store. I don't really like this place, and they seem expensive as well.
Tropiquatics: I was there once early on, and recall it being a very nice store, and the phone service was great, however they're a bit too far for me to have a complete picture.
Ocean Design: Super friendly people, and they seemed to have all the stock I was after as far as fish. Heading back there when it's time to buy Rams, as they had the nicest group I've ever seen.
Hope this helps someone, I had a slow fall and really enjoyed kicking around shops while our tank cycled. Wish I could get something everywhere I go!