Shops tend to be mass consumption / biggest / newest / best types. It helps to think of it like your driving a decent VW bug and the dealer want's you to junk it and buy the latest Porsche.
The violin was left strung and under tension. It's not much to look at (although her bow is beautiful). It doesn't seem to be warped (just my playing ability). One of it's pegs is slipping (that I know how to cure).
I knew a good Luthier just a little ways north (in an old mill with antiques shops). Can anyone suggest one closer to the Fairfax area?
I know you can't really examine it without seeing it /holding it. I appreciate all the responses so far. Actually I think the wife would rather see it on the wall than live through the screeches and squonks of me learning to play it.