I've generally been lucky with the number of shops nearby-ish. I miss being a kid more than anything, and those times when I could take my pocket money and buy something. No projects in mind or armies to build, just buy whatever got my attention. So it didn't matter what they had - Airfix, Minifigs, Asgard, Frog, what-have-you.
Even my small town where I live now has 3 stores. They sell remote control noisy cars, Nazi tanks, and those bobble-head collectors figures. Nothing I want.
I've only ever seen one shop that sold HaT's complete range. It was in Newcastle, and it closed forever in 2004.
Without the internet I would never have found Peter Kempf's Landships site, and all the East European manufacturers of WW1 tanks and armoured cars. Without the internet there'd be no Plastic Soldier Review.
What I miss is big conventions where all the little cottage ("mom and pop") companies can show you their wares, alongside the big companies. My nearest big ones are in a different country - the USA - meaning I have to run the gauntlet of macho trigger-happy border guards. It's just not worth it!