I have also heard mixed reviews on the subject of emmisions testing and my plan is to simply take the car to various places until I can get it to pass. Some places around my town will pass the car if you slip them a $100.
I can only say be very careful with that. For a short time I was a Texas Certified vehicle inspector and during my 1 year stint in Houston we had two UC DPS troopers come to my shop to inspect our practices. At least then(2004) they were damn strict on both emissions and safety inspections and took fraud very seriously. Probably just big-city stuff though.