About three years ago (so pre-Mozy and definitely pre-Mac Mozy) my brother had his powerbook hard disk die. As in, not just mostly dead -- it would not power up. It had a lot of stuff on it that he didn't want to lose, but he felt like the usual suspects who charge $1k to $2k for data recovery were a rip off. So he hung onto the disk in case a cheaper option came along.
Then just recently when I saw some people on a local linux group mailing list recommend utah data rescue I suggested to my brother that he give it a try. UTDR starts at "only" $300.
UTDR did indeed recover the data, although they charged $100 extra for this one. Mac fee? Tricky hw problem? I don't know. But it was still a lot cheaper than the other companies I googled for fixing a physically dead drive. (As opposed to a corrupt partition table or something where the hardware itself was okay.) At least, the ones that actually give you a price up front rather than hiding behind "request a quote!"