Welcome to the Quilting Board!
I totally believe what you say about the repairmen. In IT (where I work during the "day"), one of the major certifications teaches people to replace the mainboard and reinstall windows. No troubleshooting. Same exact thing.
It's what's fast, makes them the most money, and is the most idiot proof. That way, "even a monkey" can be trained to do it. Not a lot of craftsmen in any industry anymore, I've noticed. It's unfortunate.
Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
Singer 431G, 411G, 503J, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 99k, 99, 115, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, Ultralock 14u64a (Serger), Pfaff 130-6, and a Kangaroo coming Nov 2013.