Hey Matt, I just finished mine last week on my 98 2.5L. Took about 16 hours, by myself to get it all. About 6 hours of that was attempting to get my control arms lined up again in the front, before I gave in to using a chain to come along the axle forward enough to line it up again.
The whole lift is pretty straight forward, honestly. I don't think you even have to disconnect the lower control arms if you were to lift the body (by the frame, of course) off the axle. Thats what I did and I regret ever disconnecting the front control arms. It worked well for me. The rear I did in about 4 hours. You will definitely need an alignment and toe in afterwards, which I have a link if you want directions, but as you said, you're a mechanic so I'm sure you know.
I used a Rubi Express adj. front track bar cus the hole you drill for the stock can be wallowed out. As far as the rear, the hardest part of the relocation bracket is the bottom bolt that you have to drill and put it, cus theres very little space to start the nut on it and you can't flip the bolt over where it's at. You will need a 3/8 and 5/16 (I believe) drill bit for the relocation bracket, otherwise it's pretty damn simple. I had to use a right angle drill to do the top hole, but that's cus Dad is a contractor/construction worker and he has all kinds of tools (thank god). You'll also need a 21 mm socket to move the front lower control arms if ya do that.
As far as the TC drop, honestly, I would just wait for the 1 in. mml. I don't have vibes with 3 in. suspension and 1.25 bl, as well as my mml. Its pretty simple, took my Dad n I about 1.5 hrs to do the whole mml and I have a 4 banger so I had to remove the alternator and all to get the cross-bolt out.
IMO, my Jeep rides much, much smoother on the highway, but my steering seems a bit looser, but I believe that has a lot to do with the air travel underneath lifting up on the body. Offroad..well, I haven't had the chance to take it.
btw, I have my 1.25 bl here if you're interested. 80 plus shipping (which is 11 if I remember correctly), I have a buyer lined up, but was told if someone wants it first.. sell it to 'em.
Here's a couple pics of my Jeep with the lift. First is stock this summer in Texas where I bought it. Same size tires/wheels on it as then. 29's
33's this summer