Max, thanks for the suggestion on the slide hammer. Any possibility of damage to the CV joint or to the diff-side connection beyond that? With the puller, it was a nice, easy transition off the shaft. There was the potention for ~1-1.5" of movement on the shaft (back and forth) while taking the hub off, which is why I opted for the puller. Also thanks for the link to the tool place... good stuff.
Pro dilectione Dei et patriam