Larry as soon as I log onto the Great Plains site it says Shop Now and that link takes me to that shopify site. So yes it's legit and sorry about the price increases always a bummer.
Yes I've definitely heard alnico magnets are better and I've heard a few but never really done a comparison. So as you say tough to know what the actual difference may be. I am sure they will give you a straight answer. My old Alon Lotus Elite Sigs had an alnico midrange and certainly had nice midrange presence but no way to know what effect the alnico was having.