I found a way to make this process slightly easier, when you are at the point of actually pulling the axle just grab on (if you can), have someone spin the opposite wheel slowly, while it is turning tug lightly and repeatedly be prepared for the axle to just pop out unexpectedly (i fell on my ass when it did), for some reason this has worked for me every time. Maybe the spinning of the opposite wheel helps to move the inner circlip slightly so that it comes free?..Im not sure.
I did this on a 93 V6 with the atx so it may or may not work for you but it works fine on my car.
Oh yeah and another thing, when you are putting the axle back in be sure it is all the way in, mine was not quite all the way in and i was getting a sound like my cv's were bad when i went over a rise and the suspension went up, so if you do the axles and you get vibration or noise check that it is all the way into the tranny, if not then remove the axle nuts and hit it with a hammer (use your own discretion, this may damage the threads on the end of the axle if you dont put something there to protect it i.e. wood block, old axle nut backed off or something of the sort), when we did this we clearly heard and saw the axle pop into place. no more noise and vibration.