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Compressor, she go "Ptooey"

Hi all:

Well, I thought I was having a bad weekend till I read Brett and Dan's
posts.  Glad your mom is gonna be okay, Dan, and Brett I hope your
homeowners' insurance covers the mess in your basement.

On Friday my a/c compressor decided to do a bad imitation of Chernobyl and
seized up big time.  Local repair shops want between $750 and $1000 (ouch!)
to replace the compressor, drier, purge the system of any trash and
recharge with R-12 freon.  I don't want to go the R-134 route based on
previous posts. And I live in Atlanta, where it got up to 95 degrees F
today so A/C is a gotta-have.

I have worked on engines, transmissions and everything else _other_ than
a/c's before, but this is the first time I've considered doing a/c work
myself since I don't have an extra grand laying around.  

Options appear to be as follows:

1. Take it to the shop, have it done right, and make the mechanic's boat
payment this month.

2. Buy a rebuilt compressor from Compressor Rebuild Co. in Van Nyes, CA
(thank you Avi Meron for mentioning this place in a previous post) for $165
+ $60 core charge, install it myself and have someone else purge trash and
recharge the system.  New drier, too.

3. Install a used compressor known to be good from the parts car I bought,
install new drier and have someone else purge and recharge the system. Any
data points on life expectancy of the compressor if I do it this way?

Used the search engine and scanned the archives for two days and I
apologize if I missed anything. Will probably take my car to the shop to
have the R-12 extracted prior to starting any work, but the parts car will
probably "develop a leak".  Flame if you must...

Looking for any suggestions and/or BTDT's.  I'm worried about the fact that
Scott Mo's excellent site mentions there may be shrapnel in the system if
the compressor seizes, and I want to do it right the first time.

Thanks in advance, and sorry for the WOB.

-Steve Jensen (currently sticking to the seat)
'87 5KCSTQ