You shouldn't have a problem. Bearing and brushes are what usually go in an alternator. Diode failure is much rarer. Regardless, alternator remaufacturing is pretty straight-forward. Many replacement bearings and brushes these days come from China, but they are fine. Much of the bearing machinery comes from Germany and is top notch. China is gaining a substantial share of the world's bearing market.
I believe what they told you is a big stretch. Recently, I went online and bought new brushes and bearings for my Honda's alternator for around $18. There's no reason to replace everything and I don't believe anybody does that.
My dad has had some not so great luck with NAPA rebuilds. We have had his Park Avenue 4 years and it has gone through 5 alternators. All of them from NAPA. The brushes went on 2 of them. One of them the voltage regulator died. The bearings went on one. Then another one wouldn't charge properly. We have one in and it seems to be doing ok. It is getting a little weak but it is ok.
My dad bought one to replace his alternator on his S-10. It lasted about a month and pooped out. They were good about exchanging it, though. It was just a PITA to have to replace it again... in the winter. <_<
1. from dealer at $209 (but this is a 110 amp only not 130)
2. from carquest at abt 215 (I think it was a new one, 130 amp).
3. from auto zone for abt $169 (Duralast - Reman with Lifetime warranty)
4. from Napa at 129 (+ 10% off because of AAA discount, 3 yr warrenty)
5. from ebay at 120 with shipping. (Claims its new, and 1 yr warrenty. No tax here)
I think PepBoys sells brand new alternators (Bosch brand, IIRC) for just a few bucks more than a rebuilt one. I don't know if you have a PepBoys in your area, though, and they don't have an online catalog yet.
Personally, I would go with the absolute cheapest replacement that has a good warranty. I would think 3 years should be good enough. If the alternator lasts that long, than it was obviously remanufactured well and will probably outlive your usage of the car.
It took me ten minutes to swap alternators on the '92 (Vulcan). IIRC, it was the cheapest one AutoZone sells... Valucraft or something, and it was right around $100. Only a one-year warranty, but it hasn't given me any trouble, and that was 2.5 years ago.