When shopping for eyewear, I want a full range of all the latest styles from all the top designers. I want to see great-looking frames from big names like Jones NY, Dolce & Gabbana, Guess, BCBG, and French Connection. Unfortunately, that means going to a pricey store that charges an arm and a leg. But, as much as it kills me, that's exactly what I plan to do. There aren't any other options out there, so I have no choice but to pay way too much for quality fashion eyewear.

If only there were someplace I could get the same quality frames you see at boutiques and department stores, but at savings of up to 50 percent off. And what if they also offered a full range of lens options, from tinting to UV coatings to anti-reflective treatments? Alas, such a store exists only in my imagination.

Sometimes I can't help but think how amazing it would be if there were a store that not only provided quality fashion eyewear at a fair price, but also could fill any prescription in about an hour. To get that kind of fast service, though, you have to sacrifice quality. That's why I'm sticking with the big guys with the sky-high price tags.

It's too bad I always end up someplace that doesn't feature top frames for the entire family. After all, no store with reasonable prices carries fun children's eyewear by Harry Potter Style, Marvel Comics, or X-Men. Or the styles teens love, featuring such popular names as Adidas, MTV, Reebok, and B.U.M. Equipment.

Then there's the issue of customer service. Not every pair of glasses is right for everybody, and I'd rather not be rushed out the door with the same pair as the next person. I'm looking for a professional, courteous sales team that gives me the personal attention I need to find the look and fit that's right for me. The problem is, I live in the real world, not some fantasyland where strawberry-syrup rivers flow through candy-cane forests.

And what if I need other services, like contact lenses, prescription sunglasses, or on-site examinations from licensed optometrists? I'd also love it if I could get prescription clip-on sunglasses or a designer case for my eyewear. But you and I both know that ain't ever gonna happen.

Why do I even bother? Even if I did find a store that offered great glasses at a sensible price, I'd have to give up all the extras. There's no way the low price would include such add-ons as a 30-day money-back guarantee or free lifetime cleaning and adjustments to maintain the comfort and fit of my glasses for as long as I own them. Unless I pay too much for my eyewear, I can also say sayonara to such options as one-year protection against accidental breakage and replacement plans for lost contacts.

Oh, just forget the whole thing. It's pointless. I mean, even if there were a store that boasted top names like Cheryl Tiegs, DKNY, Fila, and Candies at affordable prices (keep dreaming), I'm sure it would be inconveniently located.