no body shop wants to do bodywork, at least thats been my experience. they want to slap on new parts and spray. thats how they make their money. alot of shops get caught charging you 1000 for a fender as OEM but slap a china one one. its very common. I too had a front end collision back on the spring. i did every bit of it myself. i replaced the radiator, A/C condenser and did the water pump while i was at it. i havnt finished fixing the front bumper yet but im getting there. the vast majority , id say 75% of owning a car you dont need anyone but yourself. unless you make 100 an hour at work yourself, it never makes since ot have a shop do anything for you outside of real heavy work , or when say for instance, replacing exhaust. sure you can do it yourself, but up on a lift the garage can do it much quicker. you can use your judgment after awhile where the line is on everything. take an oil change. these days, its the only ting ill let someone else do because it cheaper to have them do it then for me to buy everything and take the time to do it.
yes new metal is always best but from a time and money perspective it isn't the primary concern. where the bondo goes, how much ,etc haa to work into the decision. me, id do it all then bring it to them taped primed and sanded and just have them professionally spray and blend.