So what are the price points for fixing something like this - used, junk yard parts, versus new? And you’re going to do the work yourself (I presume), but what would an independent shop charge (never mind the dealer)...?
I’ve never owned an AWD or 4WD vehicle (for winter driving) - even when living 12 “driving years” up in (southern) New England. When I’m home visiting family I see tons of AWD vehicles on the road these days - more than I ever remember seeing years ago. Makes me wonder if this is yet another one of those cases where the manufacturer has essentially created artificial demand by increasing production and then convincing buyers - through marketing and salesmanship - that they really need AWD, when they don’t.
A failure like the OP has experienced here is probably pretty rare, but prospective AWD buyers take note: do you really *need* AWD? Unless you live in Canada, one of the northernmost U.S. snowbelt states, or otherwise “out in the boonies” where roads get plowed when your town “gets around to it”, the answer is probably “no”. So keep it simple, drive a FWD vehicle, put the up-front ($1500?) savings into your pocket, enjoy the “extra” 1-2 MPGs along the way, and sleep tight knowing you’ve got one less transmission-related failure point to worry about.
2011 Equinox 1LT (new Jan 2011): Summit White / 3.0 L V6 / FWD / Pioneer Stereo / 18" Wheels / 131.6k miles [14-JUN-2019]
2002 Impala 1LT (new Jun 2002): Summit White / 3.4 L V6 / FWD / Cassette-CD Combo /222.5k miles [13-JUN-2019]