I have seen x-rays from dogs sedated and not. Sometimes the same dog (a friend had a GSD that was done originally sedated and came back OFA fair, and when the same dog was done without sedation the hips came back good).
Penn hip is a very different evaluation from OFA, as it tests the amount of play in the join, which requires the dog to be sedated because it hurts the dog if they are fully awake. They sedate the dog and then pull on the hip joint and measure the amount it is able to move.
OFA looks at the joint itself physically, the femoral head, the socket, etc.
My dog has his hips/elbows x-rayed in about 10 mins without sedation. My vet lets me in to help place the dog. They are on their back, however I always train my dogs from puppyhood to allow this type of manipulation so it is no biggie.
In regards to price...
I took a dog in to get her OFA hips and elbows done... From the very first film the dog was noticable (even to me) dysplastic with deformation on the femoral head on one side. We went no futher and the cost to me was for one film only at around $85. I was told there was no reason to send them in as the dog would be at min medium dysplatic.
I took my current dog into the same vet last fall to get hips and elbows done, and it cost me $270.
I just do not see any reason to waste the $35 for hips and the $35 for elbows when there is no need to spend it. Vets are taught to read x-rays, that is their job. The hips are blatantly obvious in x-rays, and the OP simply wants to check for sport.
I am aware of the difference in methodology between the two systems, but what I was looking for were any scientific studies on results using anesthesia versus not, and the impact of anesthesia on the actual evaluation score. Given you and another poster indicated OFA evaluations *without* anesthesia resulted in a better evaluation, I was wondering what if any studies were out there that supported that. I have not previously heard that no anesthesia yields better radiographs and was interested to hear / read about a correlation.
In the case of your friend's GSD do you know if the second set of radiographs were taken by the same vet that did the first set? Also, do you know if they were evaluated by the same team of doctors at OFA? Obviously some variables there that could impact the results...
I've heard of dogs getting significantly different scores under the different systems, and even within the same system (mostly OFA), but never of a case with different results when all the other variables were same save anesthesia.
As far as which system to go with, I get people not wanting to have to sedate their dogs unnecessarily and I see why OFA is the more popular choice.
Just a few miscellaneous comments:
With regard to not sending films because a dog is evidently dysplastic, Pennhip does not allow that. If you take your dog to be Pennhipped, results are sent regardless.
Also, I have heard of training clubs requiring OFA certs. In those few cases it sounded like it was a blanket policy to ensure consistency, and in one case the result of a dispute between the club and an owner where the owner blamed the amount of jumping done in training as the cause for the worsening of her dog's previously unknown condition. So overall, a CYA policy for the club.