Depends on what you're looking for me and what you mean by 'best'. These are attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy and who are consumer advocates. In my state some of the very best attorneys belong.
BTW, the information I gave re fees for filing was way-off. I talked to someone whose bottom figure was $1400, and someone else who said he was more than that. The info I had quoted of $500-1500 is unfortunately no longer correct.
As a lay person I wouldn't know who was best, but I got a few referrals from attorneys whom I trust. You raise a good point though in that the person we need not only needs to know the law, but also be a consumer advocate.
Yes, it's getting much more expensive and it depends on where you are too. I'm in the NYC area and I've been quoted as much as 5k and never below 2k. I had one fellow from a big firm who wouldn't even give me a price because he only did "big" clients who had millions at stake - the kind like O.J. who is living proof that in this country you can be worth tens of millions and still evade your creditors. He told me that it would cost more to open file for me than I was worth to him, but he gave me a free half hour first anyway and concluded that I didn't need an attorney and should just negotiate my debt down as much of it wouldn't be discharged.
2K-5K! wow. Re negotiating your debt down - in my case, I was surprised that after I stopped making payments for several months, because I couldn't, they were willing to discharge a large portion of the debt, and in one offer, reduce the interest to 1%. I am not kidding. I had been paying as high as 26%. Of course they would rather get something than nothing.
In my case, I got myself in too deep and I have no income so unfortunately I can not take advantage of it.
But depending on your particular circumstances, negotiating is worth a try.