I have a 2009 MacBook Pro (5,5); also identified as the A1278 (EMC 2326). I can spend about $150 either taking it to the Apple Store and having them replace it or buying all the stuff from iFixit.com and doing it myself.
Is there any cheaper/easier way of doing this? Would an independent Apple repair shop be any less expensive? Are there any reliable third-party batteries? I have some crucial RAM and would be comfortable using a Crucial SSD (if I didn't already have a stock one), I'm not particular to an Apple-sourced battery if there's another one that's equally reliable.