I get what the issue is. You feel that the as the consumer, you should have some control over what the price you pay is. After all, price is just a negotation.
I live in the Chicago suburbs. At last check, within an hours drive, there are literally dozens of pro shops to choose from. I used to work in the same pro shop market, and know many people in the business still. All the guys around here stay at about the same price to drill blanks. The last shop that I ran 9 years ago, it was $25 for a blank plastic, $35 for a blank urethane, and $45 for a blank reactive. I kept my prices about pretty much the same as the rest of the shops in the area, even though I knew I could get more, because I knew more. I paid to go to seminars to learn about ball dynamics. I went and got my bronze coaching cert. I soaked up every bit of info I could about ball dynamics, and was able to apply it to my job. Those costs should in turn, come out of your pocket, because you are paying for what I know.
Now I know what you're saying. "Lots of people know what you know." Touche. Hope you can find the one or two that do. Playing that game was like playing that old tv game show "Press your luck". BIG MONEY NO WHAMMY! I hope you don't land on the guy that thinks that the mass bias is just another pretty marking on the ball, and has no influence on ball reaction. Or the guy that will still give you max side weight just so they can give you a POWER RATED EXTRA HOLE AND charge you extra for the hole (No lie, this person exists.)
Now, you don't like how your ball works out of box. Do you want someone to work on your ball that knows how to manipulate the surface of your $200 rock, or someone that is still using sandpaper? Once again, your choice.
Also, you are looking for something special out of the ball you just bought. Assuming you have the correct specs for the ball (about 15 years ago, I had a guy come in with a pin in Piranha with 4 oz of top, and wanted it to go long and flip hard. Sorry hoss, not happening). Are you going to go to a guy that will just lay out your ball like the rest, or will try to give you what you want? Are you going to have the person not listen to you at all, and insult you? See, you're also paying for my patience. I work in IT. IT people get paid because of what they know, and the fact that they have to put up with stupid questions, and answer them without sounding like they don't even want to talk to you.
Now that I am out of the pro shop game, I still drill bowling balls. Thought about actually buying some equipment to do so myself, just because I am lazy and don't want to drive to my buddys shop 45 mins from here. Last time I was there, I brought in 5 balls. I did all the work, only asking his opinion about layouts. I installed some of the vise it slugs, and tossed my buddy $100. Did I have to? No. But at last check, he's making a paycheck just like everyone else.
And guess what? If you don't patronize your local pro shops, they go away. Where are you going to go to look at the pretty new balls now? Internet is nice, but if you do go and get a ball drilled from, say, bowling.com, and you need an adjustment, where is that happening?
Another thing... the inventory thing... that's a double edged sword. You are honestly going to walk into a pro shop that has no stock, and want to get your stuff drilled there? Hope you can pay their wage of living. Other people like to buy what the guy has in stock. Walk in, look around, and make a decision based off of what they want, and what the operator makes a suggestion on. Some people still trust their pro shop operators on ball choices.
I guess it all comes down to how much you're willing to invest.
You could always stop buying bowling balls, and get some lessons. That might help you. Cheaper than buying a new ball and having it drilled too.
No one gets into the pro shop (hell, the bowling industry period) biz to get wealthy. I have friends that just wanted to make a living (from asking around, take home is around $35k without health benefits.) and they're ready to call it quits after years of dealing with people that don't want to pay. That's fine. That's your choice as a consumer. Just be prepared once those people are gone, because it could happen faster than you think.
So you can do several things. You can discuss your ball choices and drilling options over the phone or email with an online seller that will drill your stuff, and hope they get it right. You can learn all about ball dynamics and have yourself to blame if a ball rolls like crap, or you can leave your equipment in the hands of the pros. Lots of people out there are not pros. The ones that are, are worth your time and money.
*Inventor of the FIBJAM*
The sky is falling
The end is near
The final warning
The sun disappears.