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Buying out of town

I've been on the list long enough to know that people in search of
an Audi sometimes don't just cast their net locally. As an extreme
example, the gentleman who was planning to bring a car from Toronto to
Denver comes to mind. As a Seattle resident, I'm within striking distance of
both Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, B.C., so I've thought of doing this
when the time comes for me to buy an Audi. Obviously, people have done this
successfully, but I'd think there would be some issues to deal with:

First, I'd imagine that if I traveled some distance to see a car, I'd go
in more invested in buying it and not going home empty-handed. It would be
psychologically harder to admit to myself that it wasn't the right car,
even if there were problems.

Second, I'd never buy a car w/o having it checked by a mechanic. The
logistics of this would seem to be harder at a distance. I know some listers
have offered to look cars over for out-of-town buyers. That's great and
should eliminate the obvious dogs, but a prepurchase inspection is still
needed. In the case of a Canadian car being brought to the States, there's
also the matter of getting confirmation from AoA that the car meets (or can
be brought up to) US standards. Since I've never been thru this, AoA may
phone or fax the info out in a day or two for all I know. But it seems to me
that at the end of the day, a local buyer is positioned to move quicker on a
deal than an out-of-town buyer. Thoughts?

--Andrew Buc
  '74 Peugeot 504 Automatique
  '75 Fuji S10S "Special Road Racer"
  '97 New Balance 865's 
  '98 New Balance 679's