Thank you very much for posting your findings. A lot of people wouldn't have done that. If nothing else, it'll be a good example to some future member who is being told "this is simple" but for whatever reason is reluctant to see it through.

That said, and as a mechanic I am very reluctant to badmouth other mechanics, what the everlasting heck? How can someone diagnose a mistimed spark as a "toasted motor"? What on earth were they looking at that indicated anything beyond basic tune-up stuff? Not understanding how a motor works isn't license to tell someone the motor is toast, especially when the owner is going to make a financial decision based on your input.