But if they are code protected then It would be cheaper to have a code rewrite, than pay the thousand's wanted to extract the code from the chip.
I cannot agree with that. Many internet based companies can extract the code from ANY Microchip PIC microcontroller for $850. This is no more than a week for one engineer. Do you think you are able to develop and fully test any PIC based project for a week? I don't think so. Many times for more complicated projects/products is much better to pay that price and to have the proper code in 1-3 days instead of waiting months somebody to do it and it will be cheaper only if it is a hobby stuff.