Would you trust a local dealer to help you put

together a modest system. (think $10k). Let's say you got tired of the whole "system building on my own thing." If you had a good local dealer, would you go take a chance on them and say "I want speakers, an amp and preamp (or integrated) that will sound good in a small to medium size family room." "I already have my sources." What's your take on this?

From our interactions in the past, I think you are on the right track. You need someone who knows what they are doing and will listen to understand your goals and most importantly is able to listen in your home with you perhaps in order to help advise. I think these are the main things needed to find your optimal solution. I would have a budget (sounds like $10,000) to work with , but try to come in as far under as possible initially.
It depends, there are guys who are knowledgeable and they even let you demo gear before buying. Before going to a shop i have a shortlist of what i want, of course after receiving recommendation from fellow agon'ers.
Foster_9, Where ARE you? Asking for tips on good dealers in your area might be helpful.

And of course, when buying new from a dealer, you're going to pay maybe 2x what the same level of gear would cost when it's even 2-3-4 years old (on average). Early on, I realized I could put together roughly twice the level of system for the same $$ by buying used. (With all of the trade-offs of buying used vs. new of course).

In my area, (metro-Boston area) there are a couple of relatively good dealers, the place on Comm. Ave. in Boston is "pretty good", the place in Natick MA is generally good, but even there the "good" salesmen can have weird lapses of recommending really bad component matching. And a "bad" salesmen or repair guy may "go off on you", w/o warning.

Then there's one of the snootiest "audio salons" on the planet: "goodwins high end" in Waltham MA. Even if I wanted brand new gear they sell, I'd buy it somewhere else.

So in general, I recommend doing your own research, maybe even cutting your budget in half (?), & considering buying used gear from A'gon or elsewhere. (unless you feel totally lost of course, which is natural, if you're just starting out).

Just my own, highly opinionated, 2 cents.....
Buconero....I may live in a dream world but it is exactly what I did 7 years ago when I got into this hobby. I live in Boston and at the time there were 4 local dealers. I followed this exact strategy and the most high end of all the shops in Boston (Goodwins High End comparable to Lyric and any of the NYC shops including Sound by Singer and many others in terms of high end equipment and brands offered minus the attitude)was the one that was most willing to work with me. I have been a loyal customer ever since. I am not saying every dealer will act this way which is why you should feel them out as per my post. Perhaps you did not take the time to read my post but my point was to use this approach to figure out who is willing to work with you and who won't.

One final note Foster 9. If your aim is to bottom fish and get the lowest price, then the dealer network is not the way to go. But if you want to establish a relationship with a local dealer who can provide you with advice and post-sales service, then going with a good local dealer is the way to go. One cannot have it both ways (get excellent service from a brick & mortar dealer) but pay discounted prices you can get from internet dealers who don't care who you are and who don't have overhead to pay. It's one or the other but you can't have both.
Steveaudio...it's funny. Yo must have posted right before me. My experience with Goodwins High End is the exact opposite. I followed the process I outlined above and they were the only shop who really worked with me. Every time I went to audition gear, they would block out 2 hrs in one of their listening rooms and left me alone. Never a single high-pressure sales tactic. They often gave me unvarnished advice and have steered me away from various gear options that they carry because it did not necessarily synergise well with the rest of my system. They have come to my place numerous times to help me place/voice my speakers in my living room (since I moved condos)without charge and I did not buy my speakers from them (the only piece of gear which I have not bought from them). It's funny how different people have different takes on things. In any case, this is neither here nor there. Foster 9. Good luck.