I certainly have had an addiction to music and pre-internet, I slogged through record stores in every place I lived or visited looking for those gems that I had read about. At first it was vinyl but in 1983, I began the transition to CD.
In 1991 I discovered the net and shortly afterward, I began doing business with a record and CD dealer online who was able to gather together and send me a lot of unusual electronic music. I still went to a local Tower Records store but mainly got music from Bent Crayon in Ohio. As my DJ "career" came to an end, I focused more on ambient and downtempo music and transitioned over to the EAR/Rational in Colorado for mailorder music. And finally over the last 6-10 years or so, I have discovered Hypnos, Atmoworks, CDBaby, Dark Duck, Aucourant (grin), and even Humpty for great mailorder.
Just lately, as .flac as become more common, I have ventured forth with a few downloads from Boomkat, Zunior.com, and MusicZeit. I suspect that if the prices on these downloads come down a bit, I may increase this type of activity.
So where do record stores fit in now? Well, not very well as you can see above.
However, just this past weekend, I too entered the sacred halls of Waterloo Records in Austin, and I was blown away by the huge selection of new and used CDs as well as vinyl and DVDs. Everywhere you look there is some sort of music-related item. I could literally spend days in there. It brings back the thrill of actually being able to look at a physical product prior to purchase. Additionally the place is full of fellow music lovers so you get a feeling of comrardary. I had that sense of nostalgia/youth that I only rarely get these days.http://www.waterloorecords.com/home.html
Ironically (?) when I went to the Waterloo website, I noticed they have a prelaunch download store.