I've been to IKEA three times, including my trip there this morning.
The first two times, I was in absolute love, and here's why:
Trip #1: I bought nothing. It was a sightseeing expedition only.
Trip #2: I bought some furniture for my first apartment.
Shortly after trip #2, as I put together some of the aforementioned furniture, I realized that there's a reason IKEA is so cheap. You get what you pay for. The truth is that if you shell out some money, you can get really nice things at IKEA ... but you could also get the same things for the same price or even less at another place, and not have to assemble it yourself. But I bought the cheap shit, and therefore, I completely got what I paid for (and it only took three hours to assemble the two chairs and one coffee table.)
The two chairs have been thrown away since, as:
1) I have no room for them in my new place.
2) ... I never used them at the old place.
The coffee table is serving as a computer station.
... leading me to my trip today. I wanted either an actual computer desk OR a new coffee table (I actually like sitting on the floor, so I'm OK keeping the old table as a computer work station.) I also want a new bookcase.
I found some pieces of furniture that would've fit the bill, but:
1) I am driving all the way to Athens for a 14-hour work day tomorrow, and don't feel like spending my Sunday afternoon bitching to myself about putting everything together.
2) They were expensive.
Honestly? I can take $20, go to Goodwill, and get something way better that will last longer and looks lived in.
So I bought no furniture, but after wandering through the entire store (as they force you to), I had managed to pick up a:
1) Rug. (On sale from $19.99 to $9.99)
2) Wine glasses. (2 for $9)
3) Hangars. ($4, but they're the really nice wood ones)
Getting to self-serve, I noticed that they are now charging people $0.05 per bag ... let me reiterate, they are charging people for the privilege of carrying their already shitty shit OUT of the store.
It's ONLY a nickel, BUT:
1) I had spent the entire hour in IKEA with their dumbass sales people getting in my way with not ONE of them offering to help.
2) I was at the self-serve station, meaning I actually checked everything out on my own ... again, no interaction with ANY IKEA rep.
3) ... what the hell am I going to do with those ugly yellow/blue bags anyway?
I flopped the rug over my shoulder and carried the wine glasses and hangars out without the nickel bag.
Again, people. It's called Goodwill. The money goes to a good cause. IKEA is hailed as the cheap mecca of furniture, but Goodwill is cheaper. The furniture is usually already assembled (and not made of particle board!)
And I'm pretty sure the volunteers/workers at Goodwill will actually maybe say something to you, instead of an entirely isolated shopping experience.
Go back to Sweden.
P.S. I will say the GOOD thing about IKEA is its restaurant ... BUT I do feel a little apprehensive about paying only 99 cents for an entire meal, including eggs and meat. I've seen Supersize Me, and I've read Fast Food Nation ... if fast food restaurants are getting the cheap, nasty cuts of meat, how the hell can IKEA afford to sell steak for $1.99? Oh well, it's good for coffee and a cinnamon bun.