Home centers are designed for the do-it-yourselfer who's willing to pay higher prices for the convenience of being able to shop for lumber, hardware, and toasters all in one location. Notice I say "shop for," as opposed to "obtain." This is the major drawback of home centers: they are always out of everything except artificial Christmas trees. The home center employees have no time to reorder merchandise because they are too busy applying little price stickers to every object -- every board, washer, nail and screw -- in the entire store ... Let's say a piece in your toilet tank breaks, so you remove the broken part, take it to the home center, and ask an employee if he has a replacement. The employee, who has never is his life even seen the inside of a toilet tank, will peer at the broken part in very much the same way that a member of a primitive Amazon jungle tribe would look at an electronic calculator, and then say, "We're expecting a shipment of these sometime around the middle of next week." -- Dave Barry, "The Taming of the Screw"