When the dealer explained to me the antenna repair would cost $450, I noticed that they were not surprised at my shock and outrage. They gave the same sympathetic look I give when my customers are shocked at $80 chess clocks. Yes, they're expensive, maybe ridiculously so, but that's what I've got for you. When I told the parts clerk that $450 was a high price to restore FM radio and that a satellite receiver was a fraction of the price, I got another knowing, chess clock look. I understand the cost; they need to remove my headliner and get at the mast mount from inside the car, an ugly, time consuming affair. I used to be a purist, and I would have paid any amount to get the car back to square one, but now I'm more practical.
A trip to Circuit City tonight confirmed what I already knew. A small FM antenna, mounted on the inside windshield, would not only provide me better reception, but would cost no more than $100 installed. If I wanted to treat myself, I could have satellite radio installed for about $200 (Sirius or XM). I'll definitely be getting the $100 "repair," regardless, but now I'm thinking I'll be spending some of my stimulus money on the satellite radio receiver. Of course there's the tyranny of monthly fees, my nemesis.