You go have a good point about finding someone local. But on the other hand. There are a hand full of venders that have proven them selves as being the best in the business. There is a few trade secrets that go into it also. Itís hard to justify spending $3500 and it keeps having problems and then they just give up on the warranty. Iíve seen it a few times on the forums. It sounds like you know what your doing but a lot of people donít have a clue. One instance i remember is they used a gasser rated torque converter and it couldnít handle to power of a stock diesel and took out the trans. I think itís harder to find a good local guy that can build one to your liking and it will hold and honor the warranty. Thatís why lots of people have one shipped in.
True, there are a lot of guys out there calling themselves builders who are nothing more than parts changers, I know some of the big name performance transmission builders put together good units, but the prices they charge are in most cases ridiculous, I know what those parts cost, lol,, and wish I could get that kind of markup,,,
, I take issue with a lot of them also because they claim the parts they use are " theirs " and imply they use different parts than other companies, truth be told in most cases the billet parts or heavy duty parts are made by a small handful of companies and they buy them just the same as I can.
I bench build units for automotive shops within driving distance in my area, my customers know if there is ever an issue with a unit I will go to there shop and figure it out, No having to talk to someone over the phone who is going to want line pressure readings and other info. Depending on where the OP lives, he might be surprised that he could find someone within driving distance that has experience with building performance units for trucks, with the popularity of diesels and tuners over the past few years, a lot of shops have realized the potential profit in that market, I probably do more Dodge units now than either Ford or Chevy, New parts and newer design clutch materials have been released in the last couple years as well.