If he can't give you a price in a timely manner doesn't bode well for his time keeping generally. If that's going to bother you, or if you're in a hurry, don't hire him.
I've made the same mistake myself, hiring local contractors because they were local and I liked them, ignoring the fact they were a bit vague about time keeping etc, and gone on to regret it.
Yeah I had the same thoughts . . . but I guess I'm more frugal than impatient!
I did finally get his bid last night. Essentially it is half the price, and is more exactly what I want than the other bid. A couple of things I wanted done a specific way and the national guys didn't really want to do it that way. I'm booked for 9am this Friday. The good news is that the guy who bids the jobs is not one of the usual house call guys, so I have at least a little hope someone will actually show up on Friday.
Also ordered the range, dishwasher and range hood for the apartment last night, as well as a new fridge for the wife and me. Home Depot is running some kind of black friday sale already, so I got a smoking deal.
If all goes according to plan (ha!) I should have enough money left over in the apartment creation fund to get that Lasik surgery I've been wanting.