I agree that having the MS people there sounds nice. I, also didn't use them. We are a tiny shop, and things just don't come up that I need to talk to an MS insider to resolve. Now if the MS Office people were there too, then I would slap them around a bit :-D.
On the other hand, I live in Oregon, so Seattle is an easy drive, and I have family there, so I try to stay over the weekend as well. Moving it to some other place? I doubt my company would pay for airfare. It's much easier to sell 'local' event these days, then distance ones.