Congrats to you on a job well done, and thanks for your generosity in giving such specific and helpful instructions! I'm printing this up for future reference. You've given this fellow academician the courage to give the job a try. . .
My car has 112,000 miles and is, perhaps like yours, in sort of an awkward adolencent phase of its life. We had a nice trouble-free run from 70,000 (when the extended warranty expired) till the present, and we've been addressing those ~100,000 mile issues like motor mounts (and some less predictable repairs like a new water pump and electrical glitches).
Sounds like a set of HD Bilsteins will be on my B-day wish list (my wife thinks I'm crazy when I ask for a set of snow tires or floor mats for holidays).