Update:I picked up the car this morning after they replaced the O2 sensor, and took it out for a 50-mile drive, including highway, couple towns, turns, stopped for gas, etc. Everything seems just fine now, runs smoothly, good acceleration, sounds good, etc. The dealership thought that if it were a timing belt issue, it would not be an intermittent problem. I mentioned the fuel filter to them and they said that my year Civic ('03) has a lifetime filter located in the fuel tank. They said that older models do have filters which need replacement. Changing of a fuel filter is also not mentioned anywhere in the 2003 Civic manual, as far as I could see. Some of this just may have to remain a mystery, or be sheer coincidence. FWIW, that particular dealership does have a good reputation which is one of the reasons I changed to using them fairly recently. They could be wrong about some things, but I don't think they are dishonest. Thanks to everyone for input.
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