I think $2,500 in two weeks of searching is pretty good. I really think there are the little goldmine situations out there, some of it timing when a dealer needs to sell a car, it can take a couple of months or more to find the really great deals, but understandably not everyone wants to spend that much time trying to improve the deal.
Shipping should be much less than those quotes you got. You can go to sites that post your request on the national boards and you start getting quotes from individual companies. I did one yesterday out of curiously for shipping Clarity from Anaheim to Seattle and the quotes I glanced at in my mailbox were around $600. Prius Prime was in a situation a couple years ago where people were buying them from the east coast and shipping to midwest and that's about what they were paying for shipping.
But in the end, anyone who can purchase a car locally at at least some type of discount, there is no real reason to try and save additional money purchasing from California. But we keep hearing from people who cannot find a dealer who will order a Clarity no matter how hard they try. At least they have the option of purchasing from California, and at a discount that will more than offset the shipping and travel costs.