Re: 352 Engine Rebuild
I paid $600 for a valve job (cleaning, magnafluxing, valve replacement, and hardened valve seats), but that was what I paid just for the machine shop work. Everything else (tear down, gaskets, etc.) I did myself, and the gaskets for the heads alone were $69. I guess it depends on where you go though, and 3K does seem a bit steep, but if it includes the complete package, new motor mounts, etc, then it might be worth it.
In my Ford & Mercury manuals, the 352s in '61 came stock with single-exhaust, unless it was a Sunliner, in which case it came with dual-exhaust.
My 62 has a 260 and dual-exhaust, although I suspect that it's likely AM.
1961 Mercury Meteor 800 4-Dr Hardtop, "Lucille" (352, 2V)
1963 Ford Thunderbird (390, 4V, power everything, daily driver)