If you've been around a while, you may have read my last update from April. (Right here)
I wound up purchasing a stud remover, and asking the stuck stud to come out nicely with it. Which it did, so that's a win, and I did get the head removed. Much to my surprise, the pistons looks great, the block had no surprises, and everything was generally in order. Well, except when I drained the oil.
I had to order in some more gaskets (note to future shade tree engine rebuilders, order the full gasket set at the start).
I have a set of new spark plugs, and we're just about down with that easy head gasket replacement. Next I need some high-zinc oil, some engine flush, and that should be it. Hopefully.
The tunnel is a long one, but I can see some light twinkling at the end.