My husband and I are eldergoths from way back...while my past is a bit more checkered (punky New Wavish vampy turned more solidly goth BUT damned if my pink, sparkly side still comes bursting forth ever so often), my man has been pretty solidly goth since he was a young teen.
Between the two of us, we have 5 daughters >.< Our eldest is a gorgeous goth girl and who knows where our youngers will come out.
I know that a lot of gothy types roll their eyes are Hot Topic calling down thunder and lighting to avenge it's corporate greed BUT we live a geographically short but traffically long distance from the great alternative Seattle shopping scene so when my daughter wants to add something to her clothing collection that she can't raid from my closet, Hot Topic usually has what she is looking for.
Strangely enough, I have also gotten some really cute, comfortable shoes there on a number of occasions. I get more compliments on my shoes from HT than I do when I buy them from Nordstrom's!
I have never had any trouble with the staff and have met some seriously helpful, attentive kids there with better service skills than the bigger department stores. It can be crowded and uber busy but we have never been left hanging.
While I may prefer the selection at other, more exclusive alternative clothing shops, I am glad we have a local Hot Topic.