In case anyone searches this topic seeking firsthand input regarding the $60-$80 aftermarket blower motor vs the $160 factory unit I thought I would post my experience here.
My heat/AC went out, all speeds. I read up on the common issues and the "relay mod". The conclusion I came to was that the motor being worn is the issue that causes the excess current at the switch to begin with. I opted to replace the motor and switches together. I ordered both from www.rockauto.com
When I opened the VDO blower motor box I found a disappointing design and the fan wheel was not fastened to the spindle squarely, which causes a warble. I had some trepidation when I saw the "made in China" on the motor, but proceeded anyway. I installed the part to see if somehow centrifugal force would make it run true. Not a chance.
I called the dealer to get a price on the factory unit. $160. I checked a few sites and found no better than $20 savings, but none would have the part in my hand the next day so I went with the local dealer.
I have the part, and it is well made. It is also made in the USA by real live Americans, which to me is a huge plus.
I will update this thread with info, good or bad, as time goes on. The craptastic VDO unit is going back to rockauto where they will ship it out to someone else most likely.