Just yesterday, I had visited 3 Apple Stores in my area, and visited one of the three twice. I was in search a certain Logitech bluetooth mouse that I have been eye-balling for a few days now, and the first Apple Store that I visited (Northridge, CA) had the mouse in stock so I picked it up and proceeded to the register area. There was a long line outside the store because people were buying 3G iPhones, but there were associates designated to assist them. Once at the register ready to make my purchase, I stood in line for about ten minutes behind a few other people, some making large purchases and some making small ones. I then noticed that there was a message to customers displayed on an iMac that if I were purchasing with a credit card I could find an associate to ring me up on the spot, no need to wait in line. At first I thought "What a convenience,"It wasn't until another associate brought another customer in front of the line to check out to purchase his iMac and iPod. This infuriated me, but I'm not one to make a scene. So I left the line and put the mouse I had picked up back on the shelf and left the store; 15-20 minutes wasted. Since my girlfriend and I were mall hopping, I thought I'd try my luck at the next Apple Store, in Topanga. Once there, the same long line outside and full of customers on the inside. However this store didn't have the mouse I was looking for on shelf so I went to find someone to ask it they have it in back. It probably took 5-8 minutes to find someone to help answer my questions, "Do you have any in back, if not could you call the Apple Store in Simi Valley if they have it?" The response I got was, "no... and if we don't have it here, I doubt the store in Simi would have it," Instead of arguing with him that Northride had it, I left and planned to return to the Northridge store before heading off to shop in Simi Valley. Now back at the Northridge store, this is where it gets bad. Once again, no associate was available to help me with my purchase so I stood first in line at the register until a cashier returned. I stood there for 5 minutes without anybody looking my way or saying a thing to me. Another customer was standing next to me and lost his temper, and pulled an associate to help us out. First thing they said to me was, "well you can always find someone to purchase when you're using a credit card, there's like, 20 of us here right now." Instead of the great customer service I had experienced at the Apple Stores for the past 3-4 years I received smart-mouthed, bad attitude-ridden, pompous associates. My response was simply, "ever since this whole 'pocket register' thing the store has going, it as made purchasing a lot harder and a lot more unfair." the worker told me "They don't have anybody designated on register anymore at the stores..." Now to the people out there patiently waiting in line with cash or to the people waiting their turn, it is unfair and a lot more inefficient because if you've been in the store ready to purchase for 15 minutes and someone else that has been in the store for 1 minute grabs the next associate before you do, you've just been cut in front of in line and feel screwed. Not everyone that goes into the store wants to talk to the 'cashier' for 20 minutes, some just want to walk in a buy stuff. Those people expect to go to a designated register and check-out fast and simple. At the Simi store, I was curious to see if they had the mouse I had just purchased in stock; they did have it contrary to what the associate in Topanga told me. I was a lot less busy there, but all of the 5 or so associates were just talking with each other, pretty much ignoring all customers in the store. One of them even checked their cell phone while talking to another customer. So having that said, who likes to new portable credit card swipers that the Stores have and who doesn't? And do you think it makes things more easy/complicated/fair/unfair/etc? Also, share your RECENT experiences you may have had at the Apple Store, good or bad. Thanks for listening to me vent.