I just want to say how glad I am to have found this website. I'm a relatively new pool owner and have recently taken an interest in PERSONALLY taking responsibility for my pool's chemistry after getting repeatedly raped at the pool supply stores. Thanks to TFP, I've ordered my very own test kit and plan to become a pool chemistry geek.
On a side but related note, I recently learned about one of the large retail 'franchise' chains of pool supply stores that they don't make money unless each person that walks through the door spends at least $40. It's no wonder why no matter what condition my pool was in (based on my own visual observations as well as using the test strips), they would always try to convince me that I needed something... anything... to make my pool even a little more clear or sparklier. They couldn't just let me out the door with a simple "Your pool looks great. Keep doing what you're doing". On the other hand, I have had good experience with a smaller mom&pop type independant pool supply store where the guy there didn't try to sell me something every time I would walk through the door. The only problem with that place was that everything was so much more expensive than at the larger chain retailers. Oh well... This is why I'm here and I couldn't be happier.