Sometimes that tree just needs to come down. I've had to do that several times and it's not cheap. I also found that prices can vary greatly from company to company.
That's why it's so important to get several written estimates.
"And make sure those estimates specify what you want," said Kevin Baesler, executive editor at Checkbook.org. If you want the tree dropped and cut up into fireplace-sized logs, then make sure that's in the contract. That's especially important if you want the stump ground. That's a lot more money to grind the stump. If you want that service then make sure it's written into the contract."
You also want to make sure they've specified if they're going to haul away all the debris. If it's not in the contract, you might be stuck with that work yourself.
This is one of those times when price is not your only consideration. You need to be sure that company has proper liability insurance and worker's compensation insurance. They should have certificates to show you.
By the way, Checkbook says there's never a need to pay up front on a job like this.
Tips on Tree Care Services from Checkbook.org