I have used both Ontrack Data Recovery and Drive Savers. Unfortunately neither of these companies are generally in the $500-$1000 range, well I did have one customer say it was exactly $1000 for recovery one time from Drive Savers, otherwise it seems recovery is >1000. I have had several customers send drives in when the data was important. A few photographers and video editors who delt with massive file size and volumes which makes it more expensive and time consuming to do backups. For these customers I always recommened a raid setup with external usb or nas backups.
Everytime a customer came into the shop I always reminded them upon pick up of their computers to have a backup plan, keeping important data on at least 2 sources preferably 3 or more with one backup source in a different location.
I read a while back there was a newer data recovery center in Minneapolis that claimed less than $500 dollar recovery. I believe they went out of business...
As everyone has already mentioned, prevention for data loss with proper backup is far cheaper that recovery.
Edited by zingo156, 02 September 2014 - 01:18 PM.