I not a student but I'm part of this never-ending construction - I manage the night crew currently over at the Elliot Building... Well up until the 14th at least.
As far as shops go, I've heard a lot of good things about Auto FX but yeah, I also hear it's pricey too. You will probably hear the shop Zen Sport mentioned from many people around town... It's closed down now but the original owner Chris is in the process of opening up a new place called 51-50. There's a lot of controversy between loyal Auto FX customers and Chris's customer base. If you're looking for the best you may want to concider taking a trip over to Vancouver as they have 3-4 highend shops that really know their stuff and have the best equipment.
Don't use the car wash over at Esso on Shelborne and Mckenzie - It's had problems for years! My buddy used to work there and he told me the arm on the soap applicator / sprayer has snapped off twice causing dammage to vehicles. It also doesn't spray proper amounts of soap when you go for the full luxory wash, sometimes it's plugged up and squirts only half the amount it should... My last car which I babied used to always need a proper wiping off by hand afterwards to even look like a half decent job. The one over at quadra and mckenzie has a brand spankin' new setup and works quite well... never as good as by hand of course! If you live close to downtown checkout the crappy little gas station by the Bay street bridge.. They have the washing wands, I can usually get the job done for 2 bucks! You just have to be really efficient! lol bring a buddy and get him to use the soap brush while you spray down the soap/wax
Sticklers is one of the best detailing shops in town but I heard a couple days ago from a buddy that they have closed down :S
Hope this helps!