well you can only reply to one and you ask a couple of questions, sooooooooooo.....
The best fish I have bought (color, healthy, survival rate) have been from www.liveaquaria.com
It costs $25 flat rate for shipping (free for orders over $175) but when you consider they give a 14 day guarantee, it is well worth it.
I just lost a clown and an anemone less then 24 hours after I bought it from the lfs
and it's tough luck for me.
My nephew has a 150 gal
and a 55 gal SW
tanks and has bought all his fish from them. He is really anal about those kind of things and I was surprised when he told me to buy from them. When I asked him about it, he said the fish are actually LESS stressed when you get them, because rather than going from boat to distributor to lfs
to your tank.....
they go from boat to distributor and directly to you.
So it ends up saving a step and the perils associated with that -esp if the lfs
As for equipment, my lfs
has some good deals, but honestly, I buy most of my stuff from Petsmart - if you take a print out of the product from their website to the store, they will pricematch it! (Just ask for a manger). I just bought an AquaClear 500 there a cuople of weeks ago - $72 in the store, 32 online, so on the product alone I saved $40!!