I am from Mass, and think that Ragged is now the best shop in New England. EMS is almost all clothing, and tends to cater to the tourists looking for lightweight fleeces, IME has gone over to Mammut, and their consignment model, but Ragged has not changed much over the 6 years I have been shopping there.
We have all had bad experiences with people in retail, but I try to remember my days in retail and give them a break - it is a crappy job, and I am glad I am not doing it.
It is really sad to me that it is so difficult to find what I need in brick and mortar shops. I still shop in person, but most of the gear I actually buy now is from the web since shops seem to carry less and less of what I need/ want. We need to support places like Ragged, or else ALL of our shopping will soon be from the web.