I don't understand the "Firestone carelessness" reference. Newer Veedubs like your Cab have a 10yr/100k warranty which ought to have covered the tranny unless you did something like throw the car into reverse while it was moving forward. Also, did you consider that $9500 is already about 2/3 the value of the car before you ok'd the repair?
1993 300e-2.8 - gone now <sigh>
"Do not adjust your mind, it's reality that's malfunctioning"