When going to the service packs be sure to read the readme file first. If you read the one for AutoCAD it will tell you that it is only good for plain AutoCAD. Since you have the Inventor Product Design Suite (or whatever) you will simply look for that in the list of products when looking for service packs, etc.
You or your company bought the Suite which has Mechanical and not plain AutoCAD so I am not sure why you expect the Startup from AutoCAD, or why that would be that important to you, but you are going to get the Mechanical startup, as you have surmised.
Why spend the money on the very expensive suite and only want AutoCAD?
Check to see if AutoCAD 2013 is in your list of programs ADD/REMOVE list. If it is not there, that is further indication that Autodesk considers it a sub-set of AC Mechanical.
There isn't an increase in price difference when purchasing the AutoCAD, Mechanical, Inventor package. It is actually a price discount. I just purchased 7 Mech licenses and traded in 7 2004LT on an upgrade and the cost of upgrading to vanilla or LT was more than to upgrade to the Mech packages. So now our engineers have the full package instead of just vanilla or LT as they had before. I am hearing the same comments from them. They just aren't used to the different interface at start-up and think something is wrong. I keep telling them to relax and use it like they did before. I even set up workstations with vanilla commands in place of the Mech ones. They don't "like" the advanced commands supplied with Mech such as AMSHIDE for example. They're engineeers. Go figure.
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