Steve and Loren,
Wow, what passion! I really like the enthusiasm you portray! However,
I don' think you are really looking at the entire picture. So, let me
help paint it for you. First off, Z is still a very minority scale.
That is not to say it does not merit attention and coverage. Here in
Kansas City there are no Z scale layouts that I am aware of, and I am
VERY active in model railroading here, our hobby shops do not even
carry Z in their stock.
There is one Z layout in the KC area: I own it. I don't run it
because of a power supply mismatch, but I do have some Z scale rolling
stock and a head full of good intentions.