Whoa! A stock replacement pump is around $140 or so. Thermostat you can get for $30 and its only a total of 8 bolts between both parts. Oh and gaskets, another $5. I suggest look at some diy threads here and get your ratchet with a 10mm socket. Thats all youll need. Oh and some coolant. The whole job should be maybe $200. No way labor is $800 when you can do it in an hour.
Simple fix for less than $200 if you do it in your garage. I've done this several times before and it's a 3/10 for even the occassional DIY'er - last time was over the Xmas holiday on the wife's C5.
Be prepared for a huge rush of coolant when you pop the old pump off, though - even after you drain the radiator, there will be a lot of coolant that drains from the block. Usually, the new gaskets (2) come with the new/rebuilt pump. Make sure they are in the box when you pick up the new pump. Also, make sure you get a new O-ring with the new Tstat and be careful that it seats properly. I use blue Loctite on the pump bolts.
On my 98, it was quite a chore to remove all the paper gasket (which was more like ceramic by the time I did the job). You'll need a good razor scraper and plenty of blades. I think someone said on later models they don't have the gaskets, and that would be a huge improvement. But, even still, $150 in labor at $75/hour is too much. $175 in parts, and you're out the door.
Is this a good price or totally outrageous for a c5? Seems the repair is simple but not sure for bay area California?
You may have a shop that is unfamiliar with Corvette and does not know the "going rate" or has not done enough water pump replacements to be familiar with the job. Or they are just takng you for a ride, either way I would not want this shop working on my car.
I just did mine and upgraded to an electric pump and I'm not the sharpest machanic in the box. If you are uncomfortable doing it yourself and don't belong to a corvette club with members that can help you I'd suggest you look ask around your area for a good independent shop that you can trust.
if it takes an hour to swap out water pumps on a C5, it might be your first time doing it.. if a professional mechanic does it it should take 45 minutes.. shops around here are 100 an hour so this job labor cost should be 100 dollars. add two gallons of coolant and a new stat and the pump and its a 400 dollar job at best.,,do it your self and its under 300 dollars.