Yes Brian...and try and find that guy that can match or make colors in a paint store. The guy that can is usually a painter on the higher end of the pay scale or is the rep that, as you mentioned, is only there to sell paint. Not many painters even know how to look at a a sprayed out color chip to determine if it matches...they look head on and say good to go when you need to look at the color chip at 45 degree angles (called the flip) to see if the metallic's lighten or darken the color when looking at the car from an angle, (not many people only look at a car head on, as the walk to the drivers door to get in it, they are looking at the color on an angle). Then if the painter is tinting a metallic color, which metallic toner does he choose...he needs to completely understand the tinting system in his shop....which metallic's are lighter on the flip, which are darker, the coarseness of the metallic, which red goes to the yellow side and which red goes to the blue side, black doesn't only darken a color, it muddies it up, white doesn't only lighten a color, it milks it out. On any give tinting system there are 4 or 5 red toners, at least 3 black toners (yes black) a multitude of whites, probably 8,9 or even 10 different metallic's, 15 or more pearls, some powder some liquid, let alone the reds, yellows, blues, violets, greens, tone controllers and so on. It used to be you could match a color off what it looked like on the stir stick...not any more, air pressure in metallic colors when spraying them will determine the lightness or darkness of the color...I'm reminded of code 22A (if I'm correct) an early to mid 90's GM light blue metallic, with Dupont having over 25 factory variants of the same color and to top it off, because of the fine metallic in the color, air pressure plays a vital role in getting the color right on. I've seen painters that increase or reduce air pressure (done it myself) to make the color match...tell me that isn't an art.
Your right Brian...this painter is Gold...what does he get paid...if working flat rate...the "good" painter would be $25 an hour, straight time, may be even less. This for the man that is the last line of defense on the average persons second largest investment in their life. What I find as insulting is that body man that has the skills and metal working capability to fix damn near anything, often they make less. Why, private insurance dictates how much they will pay, when they will pay and when you need to have the job done by. Try doing that with a piece of steak at your local supermarket.
However, I'm sure that no matter what trade, these examples are not uncommon, just the facts of life. WOW...my venting is done, I do feel better now...LOL