Any recommendations for good shopping place (factory outlet, electronic stores, etc) or camera products in the area aroung San Francisco to Fresno area that we can visit? Fry's electronics, I was told, is one place, but not sure of their pricing.
For Fry's, you have to wait for a good sale. Their regular price sucks. If you're interested in wide range of camera equipment, try Keeble and Shuchat (http://www.kspphoto.com/) in Palo Alto (there's a Fry's not far away, incidentally). You can also check Ritz Camera (chain store with lots of locations) but their selection / prices is nothing to get excited about.
What exactly are you looking for? Might help narrow the field a bit.
Not much worse than the 7% GST here in the states with highest tax. Some states don't charge sales tax. New York is trying to force online merchants to collect sales tax for orders shipped to New York (not sure how this will work out - if it works, other states, especially California, will likely follow suit). What's really irritating is that you don't get a sales tax rebate even if you're bringing the product out of the country.
Want to get me ranting and totally off topic? Ask me about capital gains tax and calculating cost basis for stock transactions that I did not initiate (actually, don't - it is really, really boring and totally irrelevant and raises my blood pressure).