Nice Article and Thanks for sharing your experience. Over the last few years I have been very luck to connect with people that actually pay me 5% when i give cash for Bitcoins. If you are in California or the Midwest let me know and I can hook give some more info.
Its a win win for both of us and a pure cash -> Bitcoin transaction can happen withing minutes in person. We usually agree on 3-5 confirmations before handing the cash, but after a few deals you can build up a trust and streamline the process.