Bill, we went to the show in Seacaucus, NJ last weekend, and Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised. We hadn't been to one of their shows in about 5 years because they were getting to be awful. The New England show is a joke. There was a huge presece of manufacturers in the Jersey show, Makita..DeWalt..Lee Valley.. Woodpecker, I don't know how their prices were because the rude people in attendance were just standing in the way telling the sales reps all their sad stories about how bad the tools were. We attended a short seminar on the Digital Wood Carver that was presented by Laney Shaugnesy, he did a good job and his presentation was vey interesting. We are looking into a CNC, but I don't think that will be the one. Anyway, there were several wood vendors at the show, and it was some of the nicest wood i have seen in a long time, I know one of the vendors was out of Virginia.
For anyone interested, the Northeast Woodworkers Association Showcase is in Saratoga, NY in 2 weeks. It is a great show of talent and there are some vendors there, although those numbers have diminished also. If you live in the Northeast, it's a fun day and a really nice show.
Overall, I agree with you Bill, the cost to attend such poorly presented "Trade Shows" does not make a lot of sense.