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Is the brake pedal hard all the time? Sure sounds like the vacuum pump is gone, or there's a leak in the line. If you can pull the line off the brake booster while the engine is running, that will tell you if the "new" vacuum pump is working. Also could be that hose that's leaking.

Is the ABS light coming on as well? If so, check the ABS fuse. Could also be the stoplight switch under the pedal, or the ABS sensor on the rear axle, but neither of those should give you a hard pedal.

Stay away from places that "throw" parts at problems, instead of diagnosing what's actually wrong. If they can't figure out what's wrong, they don't need to be working on your vehicle.
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