I would appreciate any recommendations of companies that do data recovery on Mac hard drives. My iMac G4 hard drive is history (three days after the one year warranty expired). My Mac dealer recommends DriveSavers but they are very pricey. Thanks.
Any data recovery company is going to be pricey - as in $1000 - $5000 pricey. Take a hard look at the data you stand to lose and the cost of re-doing it. If you are lucky, you have a recent backup and you can stand to lose a day or two's work. If the cost of losing and redoing the work is going to be thousands of dollars, then recovery is worth considering.
Most of them will not charge you if they can't recover the data - but check all the terms and conditions first. You also have to consider courier charges and the cost of a new drive to put the data on (your old drive is usually destroyed in the process of recovery). It's best if you supply your own replacement drive.
Other reputable recovery companies are ActionFront and Total Recall. Google them and see what you find.
Does your hard drive still physically spin? If so ask your dealer if they tried DataRescueX to recover data. If they haven't it may be worth the investment to buy it and attempt recovery. Don't use TechToll or Norton Utilities or DiskWarrior if you plan to send the drive to a recovery house -- any program that attempts to fix and modify files on the drive could mess up the ability of the recovery house to extract your data.