Anybody do harddisk data recovery?

I have suffered a massive external hard disk drive failure (Simpletech external drive) and my computer technician person cannot get any recognition of the drive with his equipment and is telling me that the only viable option is a data retrieval company.
I have lost a number of very important MPEG, AVI, and Ulead MSP project files for my Salamone's Wrestling Plan for the Jiu Jitsu Man project. Needless to say, this is going to seriously slow me down until I can either get the data retrieved or re-edit, from scratch, a good deal of video which will take no small amount of time.

Do any forum members do this type of thing or have a spouse or good friend that does? I understand it is potentially rather expensive and don't want to get eaten alive in the process, if possible. I would like to work a trade for the entire series or the entire series of videos and the balance in money depending upon the total cost.

Any leads would be greatly appreciated. This situation feels like a death with the amount of work I have put into this thing. I am praying for a way out of the mess.

Rich Salamone
Salamone's Wrestling Plan for the Jiu Jitsu Man

Thank you groundfighter. I put my post in that forum of which I was unaware.

Rich Salamone