About a year ago I started building up a bit of inventory to be able to tinker with electronics. If you want to build stuff you need a fair selection of components unless you are going to order them one by one from the net. For resistors and electrolytic capacitors it is generally easy to find cheap assortments of different values. If you are a newbie, it is a bit more work to build up a nice inventory of useful semiconducturs; the ones you need are invariably components that can handle a bit of juice.
I wish there were retail stores that sold components and tools where I live. Of course, you have Clas Ohlsson, but at best they'll have only the most rudimentary electronics components and tools. Hoping that they would start to carry a wider assortment of components and tools is fairly optimistic, so I guess we need a more specialized shop. Preferably one run by enthusiasts who are good at selecting good components. I read the blog of sparkfun.com yesterday and those people seem to put some effort into their selection.
I've also been on the lookout for people to set up a workshop somewhere. The problem is that most people do not have the time and energy to organize this -- and I am like most people. It would be nice to have somewhere to store all my projects and my gear. Somewhere downtown where you can make a bit of noise and smoke, which has an Internet connection and where you can lock the door and trust all your stuff is still there when you come back the next time.