I have to say I have a soft spot in my heart for Chicago's Knitter's Niche. http://www.insiderpages.com/b/3714392055
I have gone over many a time to find the cranky (yet amazingly talented) owner outside smoking a Newport Kool (or something along those lines). And yes, while she is abrasive, at heart I think she loves to give out advice and direction. She reminds me a bit of my grandmother, may she rest in peace, haha. They've also got great yarn, and let you use the bathroom if you've been there browsing an unordinate amount of time.