Try Economy Restaurant Fixtures in San Francisco; they give 20% discount to the general public, 30% off to food industry pros. Huge selection of kitchen/restaurant equipment (including white oversized dinnerware) -- been around since 1964. Great fun to wander around on a weekend and play with the 5-ft. long whisks & pizza peels!
Economy Restaurant Fixtures
1200 Seventh St. (under I-280, way SOMA)
I have a strong aversion to paying retail too. (g)
Try the Crate & Barrel outlet or Dansk outlet on Fourth Street in Berkeley. It's been a few years but I used to buy Apilco from a restaurant supply store in San Carlos that would sell at trade prices to retail customers - worth checking into.
I have some Apilco pasta bowls for individual servings that are all white, great looking, indestructible and oven-proof. Apilco is available at Williams-Sonoma. It's not cheap but worth every penny. Also white, I found some smaller size bowls, that I use for smaller servings of pasta or soup,at Dean and Deluca for $5.00 each. I'm not sure if they would withstand a really hot oven, but I have warmed them.