I talked to the shop yesterday. To quote the guy at the shop "...your transmission grenaded..." as in it blew up. I asked for some details and he said the TQ was shot and there were gears chewed up. He ordered a used transmission with less than 100k on it which is coming with a lifetime warranty. I'm going to go there later today to talk to him more. I'm taking my neighbor with me who used to actually work at the same shop but moved on to a diesel mechanic job.
I guess I'm just stupified that given the events, the transmission had a similiar problem a week or so ago, started working out of no where, then stopped again, without any inclination it was going. No slipping, no warning lights, no grinding. That and I was working for several days around the transmission doing the headers and exhaust. Again I am a total newb when it comes to transmissions but I am seasoned enough to know that something like this to be coincidental is rare. Then again, I've seen stranger things. He did quote me a price including labor which so far is $2k plus Ontario Canada's glorious HST tax of 13%. I'm estimating $2500 total. I'll post the final results hopefully later today. Thanks for the reply.