The standbys actually weren't on that often in Chicago. Only when Adrianna left two weeks early, and a few other incidents here and there. Lots of the Queens got injured in Edmonton which led to a lot absences.
Is it flawed? Sure. All shows are flawed in one way or another, and it's funny to see people bat an eye at some shows and then go head first at criticizing others. It's great for what it is. They do an amazing job at intertwining Alanis' song's and for most audience members of that show... That's all they care about.
I use the Megabus. It isn't the most luxurious way to travel, but it's dirt cheap. The vehicles usually have wifi that work somewhat well. It's about four hours both ways, and it's a pretty long day of travel but well worth it!