...cause methinks I have you beat. Fun little story... Ok, so I have this EJ strat that I wanted to have the frets leveled, crowned, and a setup done. I was thinking of taking it to Phil Jacoby, a renowned luthier, of Philtone Guitars but being as he's about 2 hrs away, I decided to look up local luthiers in Delaware instead since it's not a terribly major job. So I find this local guy. A self-professed guru of all things guitar repair and this guy loves to talk about himself (in the highest regard). I mean, smug as shiiiiiiiib. He goes on about how the guitar's too dried out and he has to put it in a special humidity room to re-hydrate the wood or whatever, how his setups are the best bar-none, bla bla bla. Ok whatever, the guy obviously knows his sh#% so by all means work your magic sir. He never mentions a price and my dumb@ss doesn't bother to ask, but I figure a setup, fret-level, crown, and polish, maybe $80, $120 TOPS (because I'm picking up that this guy really fancies himself an artist nonpareil). After a week he calls me, says the guitar is back to having the right amount of moisture or whatever in the wood, but doesn't feel comfortable using the supplied strings I wanted for the setup. My EJ strat has the same issue a LOT of them have in that it's fairly stiff playing, 10's really feel like 11's on this guitar, so I use a custom 9.5 gauge set (9.5-12-16-24-34-44) to ameliorate the problem somewhat. But no, he doesn't feel comfortable using such a set: "...it feels very unprofessional." I explain the issue of stiffness and he says "well after I'm done with it there will be no stiffness whatsoever, let's go with 10's" Alright then, you're the professional, do 10's then... So just as I'm heading into work today about to start my shift, he calls, "the guitar's ready." "Ok, I'll be there first thing tomorrow to pick it up, what's the damage?" Wait for it... "It'll be $315" I was so completely and thoroughly nonplussed, words failed to come out of my mouth. Shock and horror began to set in. WTF!?!?! For a setup!?!? ...what? Surely, he's joking. Nope, this old sob's serious and that's with him including some discount evidently (which he mentioned like he's cutting me some big break...). I wanted to reach through the phone and choke the little life that's left in his old @ss bones right out of him. For about $100 more I could of had it REFRETTED by Phil Jacoby with highly preferable taller frets and a PLEK setup done!! I mean, I'm a young guy and $300 for a setup is a LOT of money to me. I guess I sorta get it. I think restoration work on vintage guitars is his main focus and passion and so this kind of setup stuff he probably finds menial and doesn't want to be inundated with, so maybe he charges obscene prices to dissuade such potential jobs, but DUDE, come on, you could of told me up front that you charge crazy money. Please excuse my whining here guys, but I'm still shocked at this. I don't even know what I'm gonna say to this guy tomorrow, I might really go at this smug old bastard and catch a court case, I'm that peeved. This guitar better play better than any strat that I've ever played in my life or so help me god.... Anyone else ever heard of such rates for a fret-level and setup? Am I being taken here?