I ended up starting this repair Friday evening and completing this repair Saturday around noon. Probably 5 hours total but it could definitely be done in under an hour if the catalyst hardware cooperates and you don't try to take a shortcut like I did.
This is not intended to be a comprehensive step-by-step instruction rather just a few notes about my experience that may help guide and prepare someone else who is about to do this job.
My goal was to have this job done in under an hour using the above mentioned shortcut from the Youtube link. The shortcut being removing the steering rack instead of lowering the transfer case and removing the catalyst.
I tried hard to make it work without removing the cat but it just was not meant to be. I did not remove the steering rack because it didnt look like it would help. The steering hard lines (shown in the last photo) were in the way despite removing the 2 mounting brackets and they were at serious risk of damage/puncture while trying to get the shaft out without removing the cat.
I faced the harsh reality that I would need to remove the cat, but it was worth a shot trying out the shortcut. I had sprayed PB Blaster on the cat hardware the day before JUST IN CASE I needed to remove it and to help with my odds at successful fastener removal. It paid off. I did have to resort to a torch, angle grinder, dremel, and damaged hardware removal tool on one of the cat outlet nuts though. Once you get all of the cat. hardware removed you are welcomed with a new issue: the cat is wedged in place by the exhaust system. You need to either remove the y-pipe, or remove the studs from one end of the cat. I ended up removing one stud from the inlet of the cat. This was the lowest stud and easiest to access from under the car. It uses a 6 point Torx (T18?) socket. PB Blaster was again a good friend and probably helped me avoid some unnecessary cursing and drilling. Once the lowest stud on the cat was removed, the cat came out readily. The transmission/transfer case cross member was supported by a jack and unfastened from the chassis. The transfer case was dropped a few inches and the driveshaft came out easily.
The splines on the new driveshaft came pre-greased but I have a tube of expensive Sachs spline grease that I only got to use once, so I slathered it up some more to make myself feel better about buying the expensive tube of spline grease a year ago for my other car.
Installation is the reverse of removal etc etc.
One thing that I did do that added quite a bit of time was chasing all the threads on the nuts and screws and threaded holes. Some of the hardware felt like it was going to snap on the way out and some more felt like it was going to snap during reassembly so I cleaned up all the threads and felt a lot better about myself. Everything was an M10x1.25 tap/die which applies to all the fasteners that use a 14mm socket.
Not a terrible job, and I feel fortunate to have only struggled badly with 1 nut. It was frustrating for a while but now that its done im glad to have saved the $800+ that a shop would have charged.
For anyone planning this repair, I would say to arm yourself with PB Blaster and apply it a few times in advance, a torch, a tap/die, dremel/angle grinder, and a 4 leaf clover.
here are a few images now
A closer look at the new driveshaft u-joint, sorry Steve, there were no part numbers or markings that could be used to identify anything. Its nice that these are replacable and can be greased.
The new shaft comes with instructions and torque values which is nice
These are the power steering hard lines that get in the way