I too have found Amazon provides excellent customer service. The excellent customer service begins as soon as you get on the website and as you point out, if there are any product/return issues you can speak with a live person. I find them to have an excellent price/value offering to the consumer.
I also highly recommend B&H. They provide excellent information, a wide variety of offerings and a good return policy. I have returned two items to B&H over many years and the experience was straight forward and hassle free.
I have been extremely disappointed with the other NYC camera dealer you recommend. I have sold equipment to them within the last six months and the experience was disappointing. I found the person I woked with, the department manager, to be less then professional and perhaps I should go further. My expectations is that when a price is quoted and the product is as described you should receive the price quoted and agreed to. I do not expect the retailer to tell me that he was talking about the retail price…oh well its nice to have a choice of where to shop.