For general discussion, make sure you check out the ongoing "Economic Crunch" thread:
I seem to recall specific month-over-month numbers being tossed around a bit, and lots of usefulness for key things to do. Its a monster, but worth your time. Note that the discussion started quite a while ago, so keep that in mind on the initial pages.
People still drink coffee. The ones that still have their jobs still stop for it in the morning. The commercial real estate market seems to be reacting well and offering nice terms to fill spaces. I personally think its a great time to start planning a new coffee shop.
I hear ya! I'm slowly but surely getting through mine. Here's what I have in my plan as far as the trend goes...
Americans drink more than 300 million cups of coffee daily with sales in the US forecast to grow from 12.27 billion in 2006 to 39.5 billion by 2011.
Hope that helps!