When I go to a comic shop, I have to wade through Darth Vader masks, Hellboy fists, Randy Bowen Busts, Topps trading cards, Macfarlane action figures and Graphitti T-shirts to get to the actual source of this merchandising; the comics themselves. Increasingly, these days, it is getting harder to buy comics in comics shops. It's even more difficult to buy what us bona-fide piss-smelling self-abusing comics nerds really want (besides a good bath): Back issues.
I love sifting through boxes of old comics. Even if I have no intention of purchasing any. You can't beat having a good old mooch, checking out the covers and shaking your head at the prices of some of them ("£18!? But it's Herb Trimpe!).
Those days are going. eBay has all but killed the back-issue business. I'm being a bit hypocritical here, as I've purchased old comics from eBay, in fact, the most I've ever paid for one comic,£17, was for a Marvel Team-Up #1 from eBay. The reason I bought the issue from them and not from a comics shop is probably the main reason that we don't see back-issue bins in comics stores anymore; the price. Old comics are expensive, and once the store has factored in its overheads and profit, it gets too much for your average punter. the cheapest I'd seen a similar-quality MTU#1 in a shop was for £40!
There are still comics fairs and marts and memorabilia shows to go to, but these mean mingling with people who smell of wet dog, and there's always some bastard looking at the box you want to rummage through! These fairs are also increasingly being taken over by the action figure/trading card/anime merchants. It shows me that your average geek these days is more interested in comics stuff than the actual comics themselves.