in mass they do that during inspection too, if i was you, i would check to see if you do need new shocks and u-joint (both easy to find out) buy the parts you want, and fix it your self, easy fixes, then go get inspected, or go somewhere else where thell just slap a sticker on, they do exist if you look around.
that is crazy. I have never heard of someone doing all of that for an inspection. Down here, it is like a drive through. you drive up, hand them your paperwork and ten bucks, and they give you a sticker.
My General rule of thumb.. NEVER have an inspection station repair anything that they find. There are a lot of shady shops out there. I once paid $40 for a license plate bulb and a set of wipers. He wasn't going to pass me without replacing the parts. I should've asked the cost before he installed them.
Take it somewhere else if you can't do it yourself.
At my inspection last year the first place I went to quoted me about $1000 dollars to get it inspectable. I brought it to another place and it passed. I did keep in mind what the previous station had mentioned was wrong but it was a couple small fixes and I was good to go for much much less than $1000.