Head work shouldnt cost that much man....in melbourne if you have the bhead gasket off, and you want a bit of a compression increase and get the head shaved a litte, its only over 100 bucks thats if you take the head off...but if you are getting it taken off for the gasket, then get the head shaved too, im getting it done to my XF early next year...
brisbane mechanics must charge too much!! how much did they want to get the head shaved?
I also saw your thread on the rough idle, did you read this?:
EF FALCON IDLE PROBLEMS
The EF is developing a few idle problems. Most common is dropping the odd cylinder at idle. Appreciate the EF is the first of the really lean Falcons - 90% of the problems are dirty injectors - they are NOT like the previous models that can idle with filthy injectors. In the EF this will lead to ignition lead and/or coil problems. We strongly recommend the genuine leads - they last longer and appear less prone to cross firing. The coils should be tested just like on the V6 Commodores - that is, they should be able to jump 30Kv or 1" in atmosphere when you add in the gap. Coils available from those fine chaps at FUELTECH for less than $100. The other common problem is the severely flaring idle - sometimes as much as 2000 rpm. While we have had a few problems with the idle speed motor sealing (usually only flares a few hundred rpm after high manifold vacuum) most common is the idle speed motor driver in the computer. This is the EF that stalls or screams its head off for no reason - makes it a bitch to drive around town. While there are a huge number of different EF ECU's, we can now supply overnight for $300 if we know the part code affixed to the harness plug - 94 DA 12A650 xx (where the xx tells us the application).
from fueltech website: http://www.fueltech.com.au/vehicletips.htm