Thanks everyone for your advice. The trip was this past week/weekend (Thursday-Sunday). I thought about doing Priceline but reading the fine print about their fees made me wonder if I would still get the insurance from using a credit card, as it sounds like Priceline would be getting the rental and I would be paying them, as opposed to me paying the rental company. Decided we wouldn't save much anyway so I didn't try that.
Went with Budget for a regional airport. They asked once about insurance, then once more about liability insurance after I'd declined. Then tried to offer a larger car/larger price once. I again said, no, only wanting what I had booked. They offered a Ford Focus or some other Ford, I selected the Focus. All the car companies at that airport are right next to the terminal. I could see another company's cars from the window when I was at the Budget desk. Budget's cars were at most a 2 minute walk from the desk.
Anyway, drove 1,028 miles with no problems. Learned mountains and curves are like roller coasters: I have them. Thankfully the wife does not so she drove those parts.
Came back to drop it off and asked the guy outside to inspect it and he said no, acting like I was the first person to ever ask that. At the desk I explained I wanted it inspected because there was no damage and if they thought there was damage I wanted to know right then. I hadn't finished my request and he was on the radio asking the guy outside to look at it. He said after a couple of minutes that it looked fine.
So, a good experience. Far happier to put 1,028 miles and the wear and tear on someone else's care for $86.90. Plus, it got 31.5 miles to the gallon, which is more than either of our larger cars get.
Thanks, again for all the wonderful folks on this site!