Thanks for your input, Mike, I'll check the ring gear.
I'll go out on a limb and make a prediction, I think the ring gear will look okay. That's because this car doesn't allow the starter to engage once the engine running. That's the most common way to chew up a ring gear, as far as I know.
Secondly, it doesn't seem like there's a "bad spot" on the ring gear, rather the starter spins once or twice, and then will successfully engage and turn over the engine. It isn't a situation where I have to manually turn the crankshaft to find a good spot on the ring gear.
Thanks for the price info, $57 seems like the going rate.