OK, spent today ripping stuff apart
I called Pep Boys yesterday to guage how much replacing the pump would be... best part of $600!!! So I decided to do it myself. Got a pump, thermostat, gaskets, etc from Napa (yes I know it's not OEM but I needed it today and they were the only ones I could find with a pump in stock).
Was a pretty staight forward job, the only pain-in-the-ass task was removing the fan (eventually "locked" the pump pully with a flat bar between the large fan nut and one of the pully bolts then used a pipe wrench on the fan bolt). Necessity is in deed the mother of invention
Job done and the leak seems to be cured... only time and a good hard drive to get her up to temperature with tell for sure.