Well, as a friend of mine always says- Nothing's Easy.
To remove the washer tank and the air intake I had to remove 5 bolts and one nut. One bolt and the nut were easy. The other four bolts were fused into the chassis.
The shaft of one bolt had just enough sticking out that I could get a vise-grip on it and let liquid wrench work it's magic. The other 3 had to be ground down, then drilled out. Ever try drilling out hardened bolts? You go 1/16", resharpen the bit, go another 1/16th, resharpen the bit, etc etc. Needless to say all were replaced with stainless.
You were correct- the plugs were easy to access once that stuff was out of there. Two of 4 plugs showed noticeable wear. One was still pretty good, one looked almost new (?) My feeling is that they were the original plugs/wires. Nobody had undone those washer and air intake bolts since the car was delivered to the original owner, of that I am pretty certain.
The vehicle runs noticeably quieter now, and has a bit more power (don't think it is just imagined).
But after running for about 2o minutes, starting from a dead stop, especially when facing uphill, she still has some minor chatter getting rolling. Not as much as before, but it is still apparent.
Is there a sensor or valve that kicks in when the engine is good and hot which somehow affects the air/fuel mixture, perhaps making one or the other too lean? Otherwise, once moving, the vehicle seems genuinely happy with the new parts and has plenty of power (...not that it was bad before). But the strange starts are still a puzzle - especially since it only happens when the engine is well warmed up!