I have always kept a yeast bank on agar slants. At first, I did it because brewing yeast cultures in the early nineties left a lot to be desired. As the years passed and the number of high-quality yeast cultures available to amateur brewers increased, I continued to maintain my bank because I did not have to worry if my LBHS had a culture in stock.
I had several cultures in my old bank that were not available via the amateur brewing trade for a long time (none of the cultures in my current bank are available via of the amateur brewing trade). For example, I had a multi-strain Ringwood culture that I plated in 1994 from a hydrometer sample taken at a Peter Austin and Partners designed and installed brewery. I passed that culture around on slant in 1994 and 1995. One of the people to whom I passed the culture was Jeff Mellem of Brewer's Resource. He passed it to Maribeth (a.k.a. M.B. Raines). For those who do not recognize these names, Maribeth and Jeff brought the amateur brewing community the culture that became Denny's Favorite 50. Maribeth and Jeff distributed the culture on mini-slant as Brewtek CL-50 California Pub Brewery Ale. Brewtek distributed several cultures on mini-slants that are available today long before they were offered by Wyeast and White Labs.