My wife's car overheated on her way to work one morning (right before Labor Day weekend), so fortunately I had time during the day to call around to get an idea of where I could take it, how much it would cost, and how long it would take.
I already had a quote from Firestone for around $325 (3-4 days), I called Sears AutoCare $450 (2 weeks), and one other independent shop - $200 (2-3 days).
I called Al's Radiator Service because I had seen their name on a car repair estimate website. They quoted me "$120 and 1, maybe 2 days." I drove the car the one mile to their shop that evening, right before they closed. It definitely reminds you of an old-school independent repair shop - but don't let that scare you!
The owner's wife, who runs the office, called by noon the next day to let me know the car was finished. In the original quote, just like with the other shops, they had not priced in the cost of a new thermostat plus installation - but once they diagnosed that the thermostat had stuck open, they replaced it at cost - no labor! So they were quick (ahead of even their fast estimate), less expensive, and very friendly.
I found to owner and his wife to be really nice, especially in our time of need.