Finally got the car back from the auto trans place.
This transmission is better - drives well in forward gears - but reverse is slow to engage (around 2-3 seconds).
Is it that hard to find a good second hand automatic transmission from a wrecked car?
The trans place said to see how it goes for a week as it may improve if it has been sitting around for some time. I doubt it.
I probably won't do anything about this because it seems like it is going to cost me A$350 every time I want the transmission replaced under warranty and who knows whether the next one will be better or worse.
So for the moment I finally have a driveable car. Except while it was up on the hoist I had a look at what was causing the vagueness in the front end and found that the control arm bushings are completely stuffed.