Trust me, I’ve been reading TONS of Mud posts since I joined. It’s turned into an addiction and my wife almost had an intervention hahaYour guy can be great or not so great. That would make or break the deal. Yes, some more digging into previous customers etc would help. Remember also that a warranty is only as good as the entity issuing it. There is probably a lot of fine print in any of those. At least if there is no warranty expected you know clearly where you stand.
I find the notion perhaps implied in some comments that it's likely better to DIY than use an independent a bit of a stretch, though. Yes, if you do your own, you will spend more time and be more cautious. No doubt. But just about any mechanic out there, regardless of brand of expertise, has surely way more experience than most of us here. And may be much less likely to make a rookie mistake. I think it's a bit cocky to assume that DIY is always better. Having said that, I'd prefer DIY myself, but I have no illusion that it won't take me 10x longer than any pro, and I know I may well make a mistake if not very careful (which is why it'll take me much longer, I'd feel obliged to read 100 posts on Mud first, etc).
I think one of the deciding factors for me as to do it DIY or not, would be if I'd expect to do the same job again later on on the same vehicle. If so, then that's a big plus cuz the second time will probably only take 1/3 of the time of the first one.