Thank you, LADON, for posting on the forums, and welcome to the Club!
Greece Lover is wise and is a great resource for you. You are also wise in touching base with some of the top AN neurosurgery centers out west. As Greece Lover said, find out which place works well with your insurance. Your particular HMO/PPO may limit you somewhat, but I would not be happy with a place that is just okay and not exceptional. After all, you are talking about neurosurgeons who could be doing surgery on your brain. You don't want just anybody who is okay doing that.
Some (although not everyone) on the forums have had success making appeals to their insurance carriers to go to the place they wanted for treatment. I can't promise you that it would work since insurance companies are all different, but it might be worth a try once you determine which surgery center you would prefer.
Thanks again for posting your experience, and best wishes on your journey! Please let us know how it goes.