I hear what you're saying. I worked there back in the early 90's, and I felt like one of a very few among the staff that had a clue. I went back there this past weekend to pick up some Flourite, and I don't think I saw anyone over 19 working in the aquarium department.
Speaking of the aquarium dept, I felt their selection had suffered a bit since I worked there. I used to have a nice array of dwarf cichlids, Central & South American and African cichlids, and some others that you don't typically see in the chain stores, like kuhli loaches.
I actually am getting back into the hobby after a several year hiatus. I had a 55 that I set up and stocked while I was working at PJ's. I proceeded to break it down and move it 3 times while managing to keep all the occupants alive before I had to break it down again. We got wall to wall carpeting installed, and I told myself that it would only be down temporarily, that I would put it right back up. Well, 10 years later, here I am setting my 10 back up with the hope of getting the 55 back up some time this summer.
Needless to say I'm back on the quest to find decent LFS's, and aside from PJ's, I'm having no luck so far.