There are a number of independents in town who might be convenient to you depending on where you live/work. You might search the forum, or send me an email offline and I'll tell you my experiences with a couple of independents.
Silver Star Motors (Carmichael) and Stephens Service Center (East Sac) are the best. Tom Stephens used to be the service manager at VH, but no longer. You can let him tell you the story, and he will if you ask him.
I haven't had a similar experience with VH - but then, I've never taken any of my cars there for service. I'd heard horror stories and simply avoided taking the chance. I will sometimes drop in for the random part - the parts counter folks are always helpful to me and I usually get a discount which makes the cost close to the Fastlane price.
Goldenbear - do you have any experience/thoughts about Stead Motors? Just curious, since it was they who were responsible for the maintenance on my TE during prior ownership.