As a person with aspirations of homesteading it myself I am a bit concerned by some of your comments. Particularly "We're exhausted all the time. If these chicks arrive sick or dead, we're out much needed birds and have to find another source - and will probably end up with hybrid birds with genetic issues that have cost us so much time and emotional stress not to mention money trying to "fix" birds that could not be fixed."
Any reputable hatchery will refund you for injuries or deaths sustained in transit. In my experience getting the exact breed you need is not too difficult although some breeds are more challenging to get early in the spring. Before settling for a Franken-chicken hybrid I would like to point you to any number of professional chicken hatcheries like Murray McMurray or Cackle. So far I've lost no chicks from my 27 little ones going on 2 weeks old and was compensated for a peep who came to us with a broken toe although now she is fine. I understand and empathize with your concerns, try not to let the cycle of life get you down I know it sometimes appears cruel. I would be happy to let you know how my own flock is doing and include some new pictures soon they are getting so big already!
Meyers does have a refund/replace policy, but time is of the essence. We are taking a chance getting our birds in early April instead of March because we have limited space and need our heated garage, heat lamps, feeders and time for our meat birds in May and our Turkeys in June. We'll have double brooders going and it'll literally be a zoo for three straight months. Not to mention getting the tilling / planting done for the garden, putting up additional electric fencing for a larger chicken yard, etc. And this is all squeezed in between our 40 hour a week jobs, kids' homework, etc.
What I meant about hybrid birds was we usually get RSLs and we've had so many issues with genetic issues we've decided to go with heritage breeds from now on. We don't have a farm vet so we do all our own vet work on the animals. Everything from egg bound to broken wings - it's hard work and emotionally draining. And my husband flat out refuses to stick his finger up a chicken's vent. So it's left up to me. I have a new found respect for my OBGYN. ;)
I went with Meyers because I could get the breed I wanted in April and they were pullets. The earliest for the other hatcheries was June and they were either straight run or much more expensive. Please let me know how your birds do as they grow. I'm interested in knowing how hatchery birds do. Thank you!