You can't beat Ikea for the quality you get for the price. When I first moved out here, I too tried to get furniture elsewhere because I didn't realize, but all of the non-Ikea stuff I got was MUCH more difficult and cumbersome to assemble, it looked cheaper, and has deteriorated more quickly. If your highest priority is quality for cheap, then Ikea is really the only place to go. If you have something particular in mind and are willing to pay a little more, as it sounds you do since you said nothing was in stock, then I guess it would be worth checking out some other furniture stores. Overall though, if you are just looking for a bed or a kitchen table or something and are strapped for cash, Ikea is the ticket!