Re: how much did your head gasket job cost?
No quite true.
The most common place for the E series to blow, is either Number 1 or 6 direct into the pot.
Have seen this several times. When it happened to me personally, and i was unable to turn the engine over, due to a FULL #1 on the compression stroke. Pulling the plug, and winding it over to squirt the coolant out the plug hole, got it running enough to get it home.( i did put the plug back in)
The other common thing on these is Broken headbolts. Many mechanics do not replace them on headgasket jobs, and they fail. They are tension to torque bolts and MUST be replaced if they are undone.