Totally agree on the Henderson - I have one and adore it. Although, for that area you need a farmer john with hood and all that. Mine is a 7/5ml which won't let you survive those waters.

The best dive shop in the area I think is down in Monterey - Monterey Bay Dive Company - http://www.mbdcscuba.com/ its great for excursions and is right across from the beach for shore dives. That wall is great with the kelp.

A little farther inland and up, in San Carlos, is Wallins dive shop - http://www.wallins.com. They may be better for your gear to buy. They also arrange lots of trips and such, although they don't have a boat/water presence. That said, one of the best training facilities in the area. (they do have a pool). They are SSI and NAUI mostly though - I used to be a lone PADI freelance instructor there, and they may have more now - no idea. Their shop was great though. Definitely check it out for gear.

Good luck!
-Stacey