I had the same experiences when I was looking August 2006 for a dslr. Including being disappointed in the Ritz stores. Hearing Nikon only, etc from Circuit City or Best Buy or something that isn't a "camera" store is one thing. But, to hear it from them was discouraging. We do have one local one that they don't try to talk me into things. But, probably because I've shown them I do my research before I go into the store.The one in the mall tried to tell me that the K100D at 6MP would not take the same size image as either N or C at 6MP. He said I'd be better off with a p&s at 3MP. I could blow it up more. Huh?!?! I immediately knew to stay away from him.
They also kept trying to tell me that I wouldn't be able to find any lenses for it because Pentax wasn't making them yet. Again, Huh?!?!