Good replies, although the jury seems to be split on leaving the IM or pulling it with the head.
I went towards leaving the IM bolted to the head initially, and didn't want to pull the EGR line as it conflicted with the hard oil return from the turbo manifold. I couldn't lift the head off (with the IM) without needing to interrupt that oil return so, i went back to leaving the IM in the car.
Yeah, the one lower drivers' side IM bolt with the oil line clamp was already removed but still, the EGR pipe resides below it
so the IM staying with the head would not work... even though i screwed the EGR pipe out of the exhaust already.
I'm about to upload some pics about some concerns involving WTF is going on with my head gasket "issues" as per my findings...
After overheating the motor last month, it had a stumbling idle and only started easily when cold. But once running (rather hot running admittedly) the car ran as normal. Good acceleration, normal boost, etc.
Ran a comp check before pulling the head and readings were within 10 of each other.
No oil in the coolant anywhere, no coolant in the oil anywhere.