It seems to me that it's still normal practice to have listening facilities in record stores in England, as Nigel Parsons says. Another of those transatlantic differences that only get brought to light in the Mudcat.
Mind, since they hardly ever stock the records I'd want to buy I'm not too sure. I rely on the stalls at festivals, and on people selling their own CDs at the end of their performances.
As for out of print records - in many cases it's not in the power of the performers to keep their records in circulation or produce more copies. You get cases where against their wishes records are withheld for years against the wises of the musicians, and very much to their detriment. Nic Jones is a case in point which has been discussed on the Mudcat.
I look along my shelves, and for any number of the older records it would be impossible to get a copy - vinyl which has never been put onto CDs. The companies have folded, the artists have likely died.
I wish there was some easy way in which we could find a way of getting payment to the people who made the music when we want to make a copy and pass the music on to some new person. Maybe it would be possible to use the Mudcat forum to help in this sometimes.