I've also heard horror stories about Stanton so I avoided them when I needed my most recent eye exam.
I'm looking to replace lenses in a pair of glasses with prescription sunglasses and after calling all around town Eyemart had the lowest price so I decided to go there for my exam. Their sign says $30 exam but that doesn't include a contact lens exam so I ended up paying a total of $80 for my eye exam - pretty standard if you ask me. They were friendly and efficient. The optometrist was all business - almost to the point of being weird. I'm not used to having someone in that position not even attempt to make any small talk, the only words out of his mouth were related to eyes, I don't think he even said hello. The upside of that was that I was in and out in 15 minutes total.
I haven't purchased any glasses yet so I can't speak to that.
I'm a huge fan of http://www.warbyparker.com/, although I'm not sure if they do bifocals. Prescription glasses for $95 shipped, with cool frames. And for every pair of glasses you buy they donate a pair to third world countries! My mother-in-law to be bought glasses for myself, my fiance and her brother last Christmas and everybody was very happy with what they got.