How did you end up going with your choice of PCB manufacturer?
I'm new to 'professional' PCB manufacturing, too.
I don't know your home country, but in Australia, the cost for a few (<10) boards is pretty high.
(Setup AU$85 - $200, 150 x 100mm 2-sided board with nothing special AU$20 - $60 each)
Now, these may be exceptionally good quality, but to simply knock up some prototypes, is too $$$.
As a part-time startup (!), I'm in the middle of getting 4 boards made.
I came across http://www.pcbwing.com
[hope that link is not in breach of this forum's rules], based in China. (And, of course, promising fast, cheap service.)
This company (for the above specification) is charging me $85 setup, $6 per board (x4) and $46 freight = $137.
(Yep, gotta love international freight charges!)
I will post my thoughts when I receive them...
-- 19 Nov 2012, 21:36 --
Received the PCBs after about 10 days, which for a '10 day service', I thought was pretty good.
They used FedEx.
I received an email 1 hour after I emailed the gerber files to ask if I wanted to merge two gerber layers that DipTrace had created. (They even sent an image explaining what they were asking.)
I said 'yes'. (See my posting: http://www.diptrace.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7677
By logging into their site, you can view a 'rough' guide as to the progress of your order.
I received an email stating they had started processing my order and another to say it had been shipped, with the FedEx shipping number. (The latter was not of use, since the Chinese FedEx site is in, yep, 'Chinese'. The Australian FedEx site didn't recognise the number...)
They were very well wrapped, with tissue paper between each of the boards.
All four boards were bundled and taped together.
They were then sealed in bubble wrap.
I'm not an expert on PCB quality but what I received back looks excellent.
I'm currently occupied by other issues, so have not soldered to them, yet.
I will use them for my next batch (which I will order in a decent quantity to help overcome the 'overheads' of each batch!)