The first question is what you are accomplishing with a visit to the eye doctor.
An Opthalmologist is an MD and his primary focus is eye health, disease, surgeries.
An Optometrist main focus is refractions for prescription corrections, contacts, and they do some follow-up medical care of opthalmology surgeries.
If you are needing an updated prescription and then contacts or eyewear then you should see an Optometrist which is their speciality. If you see an Opthalmogist most will charge you an additional refraction fee on top of your exam fee and have an in house opometrist refract you. An Optometrist will also do a health check of the eye and if they see something out of the ordinary you will get a referral on to an opthalmologist.
My recommmendation is to support one of our local optometrists and not a chain store. Most local OD's prices are less or equal to lenscrafters after they add on all their extras.(I used to manage one of the premier optical shops in San fran and consistantly beat Lenscrafter prices in an Apple to Apple comparision.....although I had much better Oranges also for sale and had all optical lens products at my disposal so i custom recommended on a per patient basis what to use rather than have a chain store who only uses one manufacturers product because they buy in bulk prices. Also the money you are paying for your services is staying here in our community rather than helping a big corporation which is outside california prosper. My family and friends personally use Dr Nicholas Kerry in San Anselmo.....a no frills looking practice but a good OD who teaches at UC Berkeley and a great community guy. There are many great places and I am sure you have friends who can recommend you others. the other reason to see an independent OD rather than a doc in the box (walmart, target, costco, lenscrafters) is that they are part of their community and own their practices and care about patient satisfication and longterm care.