I totally agree with your assessments of gun shows. The only time I will go is when I’m bored and to get a laugh. Many years ago I enjoyed them and even purchased items from the shows. Now, seems for the most part they are an extension of gunbroker. Maybe If I wasn’t a long time hunter/shooter and did not have a well stocked inventory I would feel different.in my opinion, gun shows havent been a good place to buy stuff since before the sandy hook induced panic of 2013. it's been way cheaper to catch a sale for something online and buy it there. anderson lowers were usually $60-$80 depending on the seller. you could catch them online for $30-$35 sometimes. even with the FFL fee it was cheaper than the gun show. primary arms used to have sales every single weekend it seemed.
the only thing i'd usually buy were MRE's as they usually $3-$5 each and military surplus manuals and clothing. the only deal i found was a company out of georgia that sold match .308 for about a $1 a round that my rem 700 loved and match .223 for less than $1 a round. i'd also go in and buy all the loose AR15 lower parts (springs, detents, etc). you could also find deals on Pmags for $8-$10 if looked around enough.
i usually only used the shows to go hold a pistol or factory rifle to determine if i wanted it. then i'd buy it online or go to a local gun store if i had to have it right away.