You know, it reminds me of the difference between a craft shop and a bead store. You can buy beading components at both, but the quality at the bead store is just better. They're more knowledgable about beading issues and more concerned with the overall quality of the components.
Mike, the guy who did my piercing, was himself, very pierced, but very grounded. He has a policy in place, similiar to Jill's about no impulse tatooing. He said he gets a lot of, "WOW! I want that!" when he's out in public about one of his piercings in particular, an ear piercing with a very large diameter whole, nearly the size of nickle, I'd say, and he thinks to himself, "You don't know what you want to be when you grow up, kid. You have no idea if this earring will match your long-term career goals!"
It was fairly quick. The setup is nice. Very surgical looking, which, considering my last piercing was in a mall, was refreshing. They open the components in front of you, which apparently is Massachussets law. (god bless their litigious hearts) He gave me the choice of standing or sitting, which was lovely. I elected to stand. He used a 16 gauge needle and put in an 18 gauge earring. This, he says provides adequate drainage to keep the ear from swelling and helps avoid infection. Also, they use small rings to promote drainage, instead of using posts with backings that trap dirt and fluids. Honestly, the way they walked me through everything and explained their whole proceedure was entirely novel for something as simple as an ear piercing. Their approach was very caring, but their methods were very clinical. (just like midwifery!) It's wonderful to be in the hands of people who want to do everything right and safely.
It's a little sore today. Apparently they don't recommend alcohol to clean piercings anymore, the new thing is anti-microbial soap. I didn't even know they made such a thing. Hoppie's like, "And where do you get this?" Drugstore apparently.
Anyway, I highly recommend them. Even if their website isn't quite working yet.