Funny you should mention Pebble Beach. MCACN has unofficially named "the Pebble Beach of muscle cars".
And it is. There is really no other comparable car show in the world. Each years show takes over a year to get ready. Bob Ashton and perhaps his wife Vicki also, are pretty much full time employees of the show, spending all year traveling around the country going to shows and auctions, and visiting individual owners, trying to recruit the best of the best to come display their cars in Chicago. Cars come from all over the country, Canada and even a few from overseas to be at MCACN.
I paid $100 to display only my T/A at the show this year, plus paying to have it trailered there and home, and it was an honor for me to be able to debut it there. Others may think I paid too much just to have a car in a show, but it was well worth it to me.
IIRC World of Wheels at the same facility each year in late winter is $20 admission, but for what I'm interested in, MCACN is 10X more exciting to me for what I want to see even though WOW has 50% more cars on display.
But your results may vary depending on your budget and what you enjoy seeing. Upstairs of MCACN every year there is a sports memorabilia convention. I heard people were lined up for an hour even at 10 pm to get autographs from Cubs stars. And pay $40 for an autograph and 30 seconds to say hi to their hero. Seems excessive to me, but I'm not a huge sports fan, so who am I to judge?
So in the end, MCACN is a bargain for those who are passionate about seeing cars you'd normally only see in a museum or magazine article, but if you only have a casual interest, then it's not with it. For me at least, MCACN is always a highlight of the year!