I enjoy GenCon but my biggest gripe is that you have to buy a full ticket to go shopping.
Usually I visit GenCon as a one-day hit-and-run from Chicago to Indy with my sister. We get up early in the AM, drive for 3 hours, wander the vendor area until she gets tired, then drive home late in the afternoon. Some years there is stuff I want, or stuff she wants. (She always got the new Order of the Stick book autographed, I like to hang out at the TLG booth and a few other places.) And for the privilage of going shopping we each end up buying a $50 ticket.
Don't get me wrong: there have been some great moments for me at GenCon. Meeting Gary Gygax a few times. Showing up to the Troll Lord booth and having them remember who I am; that was big. The year I bought so much Blackmoor stuff that the Zeitgeist Games guys gave me a free cloth carrybag to keep it in, which I still own. The year I bought one-of-everyting Colonial Gothic and Richard Iorio gave me some free dice. (Heck, getting to stand around and talk about the game with Richard was like gold.) The year I got to talk to John Wick for about an hour. Another year it was Ron Edwards. One time I got to hang out with Jim Ward and talk about Metamorphosis Alpha. I don't mean to name-drop, but you see the kind of thing that can make GenCon so special. (For me, that is. My sister mostly brings a book and sits in the corner reading.)
As cool as it is to go and see things, it often bothers me that we spend $100 (or whatever) plus gas to go shopping. I often think about what I could buy with my $100 instead.
Sorry ... rant over.
EDIT: This is post #666 for me.
Pretty darned cool!