They need to realize there is more out there than just the high end too.
I've been researching building a standalone home theater & went to a local high end store, the attitude started right away!
I was the only customer that was in the store but since I drove up in a $40,000 pickup instead of a $40,000 Lexus I was ignored for 5 minutes.
I told the guy what I was planning & he immediately asked what I was planning to spend, I told him what I thought & that it would be spread out over time & I'd start by building the theater & using my current equipment to start off & adding new gear later.
When I asked about consulting & design he told me they only do business with people that buy all the equipment from them & when I said I didn't know what equipment I'd be buying yet he told me they couldn't help me.
Now I realize to this place a starter theater has $100,000 worth of gear in it but they need to realize that 5 mid range guys like me add up to $100,000!
Also I never see any ads for custom installers on TV or the paper & never hear any on the radio, it's also damn hard to find any in the phone book.
There is a whole market in the mid range out there & fortunately I found a great dealer in the mid to high range that is willing to work with me (it's Audio Advice if your in the Tulsa, OK area & are looking for a dealer
), I purchased my Denon receiver there as well as a set of Klipsch 5.1 speakers for my Dad & my stereo system in my truck.
All of those things I could have gotten for less at a big box store but I wouldn't have the relationship with them that I do at the custom install dealer.
They understand I'm a working man with a budget & are willing to work with me in the long run, as a result I can bet most of my new gear will be purchased from them (They are a Paradigm dealer
) & they will do the design & wiring in my new home theater.
like you said people aren't exactly beating down the doors to the high end custom install shops, they need to develop a new attitude & start looking into other price ranges.