Keep at dudette. They may criticize me for what they think is pessimism, but what you'll find is that an honest competent HVAC company is almost as rare as a dodo bird. The guys here are a cut above, so they'll take exception to that. But that doesn't change reality.
Most contractors have played a head game on themselves and you. If they believe you should have a new unit, they manipulate anything and everything they can to make that happen. They actually believe they're doing you a favor in the process. It starts with being extra cautious with "pre-cracks". It continues with BS about parts availability. It ends with purposely pricing the repair so high that you end up with a new unit anyway.
Find that one good company. Just because you give up on repairs doesn't put an end to your challenges. The same companies that can't do a repair without manipulating are the same ones who will do a lousy install that looks pretty but performs badly.