Update: I took it to a double indy. Former BMW tech who works out of his house.
He pushed down on the corner of the hood and instantly concluded "bad shocks". It's pretty easy to push the car down. On mine, you could sustain a bounce by repeatedly pushing down. All 4 shocks are gone. He had me push his BMW's hood, and you could barely push it down. No chance you can start "bouncing" it with ...umm...rhythmic thrusting. We looked at the shock and saw the bellows part was torn on both. He said the coil spring is fine ("they don't go bad") He said when struts are bad, they make the clunking sound.
He then got under the car and took channel lock pliers and twisted the control arms. He said there should be no play. He said I need front and rear control arms. He also says he just replaces the stabilizer links as well (that vertical rod/ball joint that's positioned higher up on the wheel) I'm not sure if I REALLY need them, or if he's being a purist. Incidentally, both my left front and rear control arms were replaced ~ 4 years & 40-50k miles ago.
For now, I might do just the struts and see the result. Since they control arms are a separate job anyway, I am in no rush to do these, especially if the clunking is resolved by the struts job. Particularly b/c mechanic #1 didn't seem to think they were an issue and were tight enough. I think if they're REALLY bad, they're much looser than mine.
I will update this thread once there is action taken..