I gotta agree on your "box store" assessment.
You've practically described my pattern of addiction.
Getting cheap (in all senses of the word) plants gave me the confidence
to go ahead and get the quality plants, without fear of killing them.
ok, still some fear, but not enough to stop me.
And buying half-dead/half-price plants allowed me to learn (read: kill)
without feeling bad about it.
It sure is nice to have a quality, healthy plant in bloom,
but when you're a beginner like me, and don't know any better,
the first rebloom on a mystery phal is a pretty close second.
I've gotten my feet wet with a few different genera,
that I might not have tried if it weren't for cheap plants that did ok.