As usual I under estimated other people needs - I never buy sheet metal nor have need to cut it so #2 and #7 don't exist for me. Some rust on items is ok as for welding its nice to clear the mill scale anyways.
With 5 or 7 sheets per order plus some other steel wouldn't it make sense to try Russel instead or some large supplier that has minimum order - I know you can get stuck behind a semi for like 1h+ and they may not be super nice... but price difference on a $1000+ order could be significant.
Russel and Varsteel have the same issue, so you're right. Get your timing wrong and you're stuck behind a semi for hours. The staff have treated me poorly because I am a hobby guy on multiple occasions. Even Calgary Metal used to be better when they sold metal as well as recycling it, or starting fires, or whatever they do now.
I have had sheet goods so rusted from both places that it takes hours sanding them (plus consumables), or I have to get them sand blasted at an extra cost. Some turns out to be so unusable for my needs and I just set it aside for another project. I spend more time sanding that the cost savings are worth, or have to spend extra money in the prep area at powder coat.
There is another factor at play here...my personality. As I have got older, saving a few dollars by driving an F250 all over town looking for the absolute best deal from a place that may or may not have clean stock and will likely serve me up the snot nose treatment just isn't worth the stress to me. I know I can call MS, get it cut, pick it up and it will look the same as my last batch. The staff will be nice, I know there will be parking at the rear, I can walk through the back door and check out other stuff at the same time. No wondering if my day is shot sucking the fumes of Peterbilt Pete for 4 hours while acting grateful for rusted product and a side order of customer service stink-eye.
Nor will I drive all over town for 2 hours to save 2 cents per litre on gas. I'm not ashamed to say that at some point the higher price of convenience and quality outweighs the bragging rights associated with getting the best deal. At least for me.
Having said this, I am pleased for members who take pride in getting the best price over all else, and glad it makes them so happy. I'm on a retirement income so need to be somewhat careful, but the reduced stress for me is worth the extra dollars.