As for the travel and $10 entry fee that makes the "deals" not so good, it's just nice/refreshing to be around those that likely have similar ideals as you. It's also fun to see what is out there. I know people that pay to go to events that they can't even buy anything (just booths with shows/demonstrations).
This is my 'guy' time that I spend (this time) without wife, kids, etc. My wife has expressed a desire to come and learn (along with my kids), so maybe next time. My wife goes to 'girl's nights', I go to the gun show, or the gun range.
I even talked my sister (who was deathly afraid of all things guns) into going to a gun show with her husband (also not too big on guns, from my understanding). She came out and was surprised that "most of the people in there looked 'normal'." She now tries to figure out which of the people around her in the store may be "packing." She still is weary of guns, but is not scared of them so much anymore.
Prior to my buying a gun, I went to several gun shows, and asked a million questions (yes, I was THAT guy). I felt that I should gather many opinions and tons of information BEFORE making my purchase and decision to carry. I didn't want to go off of one guy's opinion at Impact Guns (no offence to Impact Guns, but I never take any single person's opinion to be truth).
Gun shows are good for so many other things than the "deals", many of which are intangible, but definitely worth $10 (IMHO).