If you go to a good ski shop not in the flatlands you will not be serviced by some clueless kid, and to call it sketchy and that you will still get the wrong boot and they just want to make a buck is just ignorance.
You really, truly never had a bad experience buying ski equipment from a ski shop (even in the ski country) and ended up with wrong stuff? Ok, may be never did but I doubt that. A lot of people have and still do. You can find a lot of almost new stuff on Craig's because the stuff doesn't fit/work (for) the original buyer even though they bought it from a shop. I know this from personal experience, so it's not like this doesn't happen.
So calling my experience of such incidents "just ignorance" is rather baseless. Granted, I bought wrong stuff in the past in ski shops because I was ignorant, not really knowing what will work for me, and yes, stuff was just sold to me because there was sale to be made. So, to just broadly state that if you buy ski boots in ski- country store you'll definitely be served much better is debatable, especially if a guy wants to save some $$.
There is a wide range of experiences that people have and I'm just offering a point of view that's based on my ski life and that of people I know. So, this experience runs contrary to most of advice given in this thread: "pay top dollar for your boots from a store and be sure to hire a boot fitter".
I'm saying, no, you can get good stuff for much less and unless you have problem feet, forget the boot fitter. I've never used one and among a fairly large group of people that I've skied with throughout the years, I can only think of a couple of folks that really needed that service. My experience is just as valid as yours.
On a tangent: I do support local ski shops with some of my purchases when it makes sense. I happen to like trying out ski related clothing when I can and if it fits, I buy it even though I probably could get that on line and pay less. Also, many brick & mortar ski shops have good on-line presence and sell their stuff that way. At the end of this season I bough a pair of skis, on line, from a shop near Killington. I knew what I wanted, they had it and the price was good.