I totally agree. I took my little brother shopping for his first gun and we went to the LGS so he could look at a bunch. All he had shot really was a H&R 22mag revolver, XD9 and XDm9. He thought he wanted an XD9 and I told him to keep an open mind and look around and try a bunch out.
He finally came to a FNP9 which I had never handled either and it had a real good feel to it. Talked to the sales lady and sure enough the seemingly reasonable price got even better when she said it came with FIVE mags. WOW! Can't beat that. He snapped that up even though it was over the budget he had set for himself.
Even if it's not for the great prices there is nothing like being able to at least handle an unfamiliar gun prior to buying it.
I've never actually bought a gun long distance...