Damned insomnia -- I'd rather be sleeping right now....
I've been taking my Miata to Walter for several years now -- everything from a basic 90,000-mile service to $4,000 of collision repair after getting bashed in back by a semi on 465 a couple years ago. (Uh, yeah -- it was interesting....)
Anyway, I was seriously disappointed in his paint work, but the welds on their structural work looked near-robot clean to my eye. My first Miata (dearly departed -- tree fell on it) went there for a 90,000 mile service and came back feeling 50,000 miles younger. I think he must've been the first mechanic who actually tightened all the chassis bolts like Mazda recommended. FWIW, I've been impressed -- and a college buddy of mine with an '87 Scirocco swore by him, too.
Overall, my hunch is that with a shop as far off the beaten drag as his, that he couldn't have survived for all this time unless he made most of his customers happy. Of course, even mechanics have bad days -- and I'll be the first to admit that ones who have a bad day on MY car don't get second chances, so I won't argue with anyone who's had trouble. But far as I'm concerned, I think Walter's great (as he'd better be for the moolah!).
Love to hear any other reports, though.
For anyone wanting a backup option, I've been pretty happy with Kimbrell's downtown, though I've only given them routine stuff to deal with, so I've never really put 'em to the test.
Thanks for the feedback, all!