West Chicago... middle of nowhere? I do agree with some of your other points, but it is what it is. I didn't think I would return this year, but I can't help myself. I think it's a great event and I like the St. Charles/Geneva area of Chicago.Plus, the location is in the middle of nowhere, an hour west of Chicago.
The wife aspect is tricky. I made it work last year and plan the same routine this year. We stay at a hotel that allows dogs. That's number one. If my wife has the dog with her then it occupies her and gives her someone to hang out with. We visit the various parks along the Fox River, hit the fancy chocolate shop in Geneva, and have a nice dinner out at one of the many restaurants in St. Charles and/or Geneva. That's Friday after stopping at the smoking tent for the swap/sell.The wife would insist we attend if it was in the downtown area. A worn out hotel with next to nothing for her to do means a non-starter.