I am not here to apologize for the marketplace as it is. I would like to reiterate WHY it is this way. ( I will leave it to others to find a way to change it)
HVAC systems are quite costly, and therefor consumers are entitled to seek the longest possible warranty terms for their system. At a bare minimum, as I mentioned, a five year parts warranty would be expected. Newer ++ SEER air conditioning systems may have 10 year warranty. This brings us to WHO will repair this. There will be system failures, maybe not yours, but there will be some need for warranty work. Air conditioning repair is arguably NOT a DIY job. SO, the manufactucturers need to have a network of small contractors nationwide to handle the warranty work. But warranty work does not make a company a lot of money. They have overhead, they have employees who need to be paid year round, etc. They need to be in the sales and installation business, and make a markup on that work. That is the capitalistic system.
That's just the way it is.
By the way, "grumpy" does not get you tossed! We are all grumpy from time to time! As long as the tone and language remain half-way civil, post like this have gone on for years!
There is no law against you buying whatever you want from whoever will sell it to you. You will find somebody who will be willing to install it. That is all your choice. I have mentioned that the key drawback to this path will be the warranty. The best source of warranty labor will be from the contractor who installed it. Not necessarily the only recourse, but again you live with your choices.