Oil guzzling beast

Hello all, First post here, I've run into a common problem and I'm hoping for some assistance.

First of all I should point out that my knowledge of cars and mechanics is very poor so you might need to bear with me on this.

I have owned a 2005 1.8vti for 5 years now, However in the last year I have noticed that the oil has been disappearing at a fairly quick rate - I don't know exactly how many quarts etc. but I do know that I am adding oil probably every 2 months for not very many miles. 200-300 miles per month.

I have had no engine warning lights and no leaks. The only thing I have noticed is a rattle/tapping sound when starting the car up in the morning, however it goes away after driving a while. I have under 70k on the clock.

After reading around the internet I concluded that there was a strong chance that this is related to oil rings/holes/pistons (again sorry for the poor description - I'm not mechanical at all) and that it is a fairly common in the 1ZFFE engines, however, it is mainly pre 2003 that have the issue.

Anyway, I took it along to a mechanic who had a look, gave it some high revs etc and pointed out the black smoke being deposited and he did indeed confirm that I was burning oil. He wasn't too surprised due to the engine in question.

He has told me that it is likely to be oil rings or similar, and did talk about potential build up of gloop/gunge, however he can't pinpoint the exact problem/cost etc until he has a closer look. He listed what needs done, most of which I can't remember (and it believe me it did sound onerous), however the one thing I do remember is that it involved removing the head.

Although he isn't certain what will need fixed until he inspects he suspects that I'm looking around the £1000 mark to sort this.

I would like to know you guys thoughts on this and does the price sound reasonable? does the mechanics assessment sound reasonable?

Also is there anything simple I can do in the meantime to try and improve the problem? After reading around I have discovered that fully synthetic oil is best, I know that the last few times I have added oil that I've added semi-synthetic. What type o oil grade etc. should I top up with now?

To be perfectly honest I'm just looking for an idea of how easy and costly this should be to fix in order to allow me to weigh up whether or not I should get shot of the car.

Anyway, thanks guys - I hope that wasn't too long and hopefully you can help.