A good boot fitter knows that repeat business (and new business through word of mouth) comes from happy feet. Service for these folks is measured by fit and boot function matching the client's needs.
Internet sales don't work this way - service for this segment of the industry is measured by quickness of delivery.
I've noticed an increasing trend on EPIC for people who bought boots on the internet (and got a deal! ) to report that they have a crappy fit and/or the wrong boot.
I think you have to know what you are looking for and a lot of people don't do the research up from before buying the boots.
My boots near perfect fit, just had to move the cuff buckles to next hole (chicken legs), no custom insole.
But I agree, no homework, no fit and buying online for these type of products is a risk. For what I paid the risk was well worth it even if the boots didn't fit as I could have like gotten most of my money back in a resale.
My advice is:
Know your size for what you are buying.
Know why you are buying it.
Set a upper limit and stick to it (not a penny more).
Realize the risk.
Do your research (otherwise pay the guy at the store for their experience and buy from them)
Don't whine if it didn't work.