1stData Recovery does a great job of recovering lost data. The crashed hard drive was dropped off at the Vancouver shipping depot along with a new external drive to store the extracted files. Could not pay at the time of drop-off, which was strange. They do not accept payments in person. Waited for email and made initial deposit via Paypal.
Received email stating that work was complete and that final invoice was $900! Gulp. Hidden surcharge of 80% on hard drives over 40GB.
Made final payment via email money transfer and received my external drive back within a few days. Everything is there!
Not overly pleased about the hidden charges, but glad to have my data back. Saves re-doing 8 months of work.