Does'nt sound like lifters to me, they make a tick-tick sound varying with engine speed, either at coldstart a few seconds or warm as well when a oilchange is needed, you might consider them to be an oilchange alert. And I guess all of them wouldn't collapse at the same time. I'd say you're being screwed. I'm no expert though, they'll probably give a second opinion soon
1998 Xedos 9 2,5 MT (5-speed)
2000 Xedos 9 2,5 AT
2002 BMW 530i Touring stickshift
Originator of the Mazdaworld Old Boys Team!