I will never buy guitar online anymore.
I totally agree that it is much better to play a guitar before buying it rather than buying solely "on spec". But, if you're interested in instruments that are not exactly mainstream, this is seldom possible. Every retailer I'm aware of sells the same lines and often the same models. Even in the unlikely event that the retailer is an "Authorized Dealer" for the brand of you're interested in, they seldom stock more than a few models.
I like doing business w/MF. They give you 45 days to play the instrument and decide if you like it. Unfortunately, if the guitar is over $2,000.00, there is a 20% restocking fee that makes returning the instrument not particularly cost effective. But, if you stay under that $2K mark, you're home free.