So... I followed through. This morning I collected Julia and Avona and went to Braindrops on Haight Street. I'd looked at several places and decided on this one a few weeks ago because I liked the atmosphere. It's sort of modern-tribal where most of the others are sort of industrial or classic. The reviews I read online were also very positive.
The piercer I got was Paul. As luck would have it, he was the one that everyone had raved about. I can totally see why. He's kind of cute, very relaxed attitude, and VERY good. He doesn't use clamps to position for the piercing but he got the positions absolutely perfect and I barely felt anything. I mean REALLY barely felt anything. I've had harder pinches from lovers in bed. The only one I felt at all was the left nipple and I was like, "Hmm. I can feel that. Oooh. It hurts kinda good." and he was like, "OH. You're one of THOSE. I'll have to charge you extra." *snicker* I _expected_ the navel piercing to hurt because I was like, "Hmm. That's going through a lot of tissue." but it was even less than the nipple piercings.
The photo above and the other fabulous photos ( behind this cut ) were taken by Julia. :) Some of them are not terribly worksafe and/or may be unnerving if you're squeemish.