Gamers Alley Does it Right
In North Carolina, there are a slew of stores where you can buy video games, new and used. While Game Stop is known for specializing in recent releases, new and used, they lack anything akin to a soul, or sense of value. While I won't go into depth about their trade-in calculator, which is a well-known down-side, I will go over what they're missing.
I understand the concept of specializing in a business, in an attempt to corner a market. But as consumers, we're backing out of that corner. Gone are the days where Game Stop would have more than one demo set-up. The oldest games you can find are, maybe, some DS for sale. Older consoles are gone with the wind, I suppose, according to these guys. They sell games, consoles, accessories, and books/manuals/magazines.
Luckily, there are other places to go. At least in North Carolina, but I know that I don't live in a vacuum here. I won't suggest that you go to Target or Wal-Mart, even though they do sell some games as well and much more. Instead, let's focus on the stores who are content with creating storefronts which double as nerd-caves. Cabinet arcade games, pinball, table-top tournaments, trade-ins, and vintage games are what we need; I speak for every gamer I know.
Gamers Alley, Lost Ark Video Games, Gamefly, and Save Point Video Games are all my top suggestions for someone looking for more variety, a better value, or at the very least, better service.
The all-around best stops in NC for video games and experience would be Gamers Alley (in Gastonia, NC), and Lost Ark (in Greensboro, NC). Not only do these two have constantly rotating cabinet games, but Lost Ark also has a variety of pinball machines. Gamers Alley has three locations (and are planning to expand), and all three include used movies and comic books/manga. The both of them have great trade-in value, vintage games, vintage consoles, rare video game/nerd memorabilia. While they don't try to narrow their inventory down to three product types, their variety falls perfectly into the class of Nerd.
For those looking for something closer to Charlotte, Save Point Video games is located in the University area. They offer repairs, battery replacement, and hold a multitude of tournaments like Sega All-Stars Racing, and Smash 64. I haven't been to this scene enough, but plan to in the near future. They, like Gamers Alley and Lost Ark, also have many vintage games and consoles.
As for those of you unable to visit North Carolina, Gamers Alley also ships purchases internationally. A similar situation is true with Gamefly, a valued member of the video game family for years now.
As far as I know, they all sell Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Drink as well. And we're all down to clown with that.