You can talk about big-company shenanigans all you want, but one thing that takes a Direct Market resurgence off the boards before it can even be discussed is the relative lack of additions to the comic book shop ranks now that the worst years are over. Not only did the last decade or so leave several regions of the country completely without retail service, but new shops can sometimes better reflect current market possiblities because they lack the preconceptions that may come with a history serving a specific customer base.
It's good to hear about one new and seemingly full-service comic shop opening up; news of two becomes worthy of note. Both RIOT in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
and Brooklyn's Rocketship sound like potential commercial anchors for their respective customer areas. The window display on Rocketship, which I believe will be run by St. Mark's alums and serve alternative and arts comics fans in particular, looks like a comic shop in some sort of art student dreamworld... If these shops are local or even regional to you in any way, check each retailer's blog for opening night and general shopping information.