Agree with you totally, there is a time when pawnbrokers doesn't know more about pawing items but now they are well knowledgeable and know well what amount is to be given over the pawing item.I grew up in an Army town where there was a pawn shop on every corner. You could get some great deals in the old days, but today the dealers are more knowledgable and generally know exactly what they've got and how much it's worth--and they're experts at covering up flaws and making a POS look good. You've got to know what you're doing and be very careful to avoid getting massively ripped off, let alone to get a good deal.
Pawnbrokers have to be cold SOBs to do what they do. No shame to it; softhearted pawnbrokers just don't stay in business very long. Go over the gun with a very sharp eye, and don't believe a word you're told about it. I was once told that a Smith 29 was "new and unfired"; it had a copper-plated bore and a scratch around the bolt notches you could hang a shirt on. Watch out.