Places to get your circuitboards made, or even populated with parts:
hackvana has an IRC channel on freenode, #hackvana where you can talk with others for advice, including Mitch Davis who runs the company, and ask about your order. Jerkey has used them with satisfaction, but they are not the cheapest. They prefer Paypal, or someone in Australia who can pay in person.
Jerkey used them once and they fucked up the order, possibly because they were replacing their entire website and e-store and payment processing company on that very day. They are cheaper than Hackvana so as long as they don't screw up it might be worth using.
Rab ordered 10pcs- 2 layer PCB three times. Each order was satisfactory. No extra charge for typical silkscreen colors. Faint marks on the pads indicate 100% e-test. No manufacturer's mark placed on either side. 2-3 extra copies were included with each order, possibly to offset any failures. No electrical failures. Some PCBs exhibited: light scratches in solder mask; minor inconsistencies in board outline routing; silkscreen faded or smudged. With Shenzhen DHL shipping (~$20 extra), 7 calendar day turnaround from order placed to received. New/old website setup dichotomy is confusing. Have not used the new website.
Rab abused their job preview function and noticed that it doesn't appear to display tented vias properly. (Renders as untented). Better check your gerbers with gerbv.
You work with a million-dollar truck that's also a one-of-a-kind scientific instrument. Every noteworthy function on this truck passes through a single PCB full of relays and optocouplers in an inaccessible location. Thanks to a PCB design flaw, the board fails in the middle of a three-million-dollar project on another continent. The spare board is also faulty. The manufacturer only made two boards.
After performing the field repair of your career and returning home victorious, you volunteer to reverse-engineer and create a clone of this goddamn board. One so much better designed and more reliable that it never fails again. Your reputation is on the line. Money is no object. And you need the PCBs in 72 hours. Where do you turn?
- Sierra Circuits. For when it's not your money.
(Also reportedly used by National Instruments for PCB prototypes)
I used Gold Phoenix for the AHA! badge v1, seems to be on the expensive side but they did good work. I didn't provide them with a pick-n-place file, they figured it out from the gerbers. They sent me a query about it because my footprint for my buttons had 5 pads but the buttons only had 4 legs. They edited my silk screen for the better, I had a label that collided with a diode and they moved it. They sent me 5 assembled boards to verify before they made the rest. They also gave me some resistors for free because I had the wrong quantity on my BOM. They pointed out the error and I was like "plz populate both those resistors, quote me for the extra parts" and they were all "don't worry about it," of course it was only like $0.14 worth of extra parts.
- Gold Phoenix For newbs who screw up their BOM and don't know how to make pick-n-place files.