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You local dealer is an idiot. That said, the recommended interval becomes less important as the engine ages. First inspection, it's a good idea to get it done on time. Second inspection, less so. Etc. Eventually, the clearances won't change from inspection to inspection, and you can cut back on the frequency.

Search for an independent shop to do the work. I found one that did it for $100 to inspect. The valves were in spec, but the same mechanic quoted me an extra $50 - $100, depending on how much shimming would be needed.

I admit that I did not get my valve clearances inspected on time (first inspection at 30,000 miles). Considering the risk of burning a valve and maybe even destroying the engine, and that the peace of mind of knowing they are okay only cost me $100, I feel a bit foolish for having waited so long.
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