I haven't been to any LFS that has a good selection when it comes to aquatic plants or plant supplies. Seems it's a little too much of a specialized niche around here for the stores to carry the good stuff. I get most of my plants and supplies off the internet and have had good luck with it. Haven't had much luck with ordering fish over the internet yet though.
I've found that some of the smaller non-chain stores tend to have the more knowedgble people, at least if the owner is working there.
I find it odd that there are so many people, in the aquarium trade for a living that know so little about what they are selling.
It's bad when I have to teach the person working at the store how to tell the sex of Livebearers. If I ask for a SAE or Cherry Shrimp or Ammano Shrimp, they have not only never heard of them, but have no clue where to get them.
This month I'm gonna try to make it to the New Hampshire Aquarium Society meeting for the 1st time, hopefully I'll meet some other local people in the same boat as me wanting to trade fish and plants they can't find anywhere.