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I talked to the guy at the auto shop. He did not seem to believe that my clutch is only 2 or so years old. The clutch does not have to be replaced, but he recommends it. No fluids seeped past the leaking slave cylinder to the clutch plate, so there was no damage done from that. (And, as I suspected, replacing the slave cylinder does not have to cause damage to the clutch, as Midas was trying to convince me.) However, he says that the flywheel (not exactly sure what that is) wasn't tightened properly by whoever last worked on my car (he was surprised when I implicated the dealer) and it and the clutch have been subjected to a lot of wear and tear. He says the clutch looks like I've gone a couple of hundred thousand miles on it! I can leave the clutch in, but the big cost of replacing the clutch is the labor involved in taking the engine/transmission apart. He guesses I'd probably have to replace the clutch by late summer. Replacing the clutch and flywheel now adds an extra $300 or so to the cost, but saves me about $500 or so later this year. Might as well bite the bullet now. Ugh! These repairs are going to cost me about $1000. <whimper, whimper>

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