I am really glad to see this thread make it to 6 pages!
It has been good to learn about the selection and pricing side of things. Having staff picks and store selectors is a good thing so long as they don't mark up the price as a result of their efforts to select. It sounds like many stores select good quality bourbon and keep prices steady. That only helps the industry and the consumer.
Since beginning this thread, I bought a $29.99 (standard Chicago price) bottle of Binny's hand-picked ETL. It is one amazing bottle and one stand-out bourbon. Very pleased.