You'll find as many opinions as posters here. My recommendation is to find a retailer that has reasonable shipping rates. AHS, midwest, northernbrewer, morebeer, rebelbrewer all come to mind. Research and welcome to the board.
If you're stupid, you have to be tough.
In my experience, ingredient costs are pretty much the same across the board. When I took the time to comparisons shop, I ended up having a few dollar spread between all the big vendors. My advice would be to find a vendor close to you and give them a shot, then stick with them.
Once you start shopping for equipment, then you need to take the time to find the best prices. The variation on big ticket items is ridiculous.