Well... I have a gut feeling I will have to drop the tranny to see what is going on.
If the noise is the input shaft bearing, and I cannot replace the bearing without disassembling the tranny, I will have someone do it - Marlin or my local tranny shop?
I am going to wait before I drop the tranny. I have too many family life things on my plate right now.
Since I replaced the head from engnbldr, I need to find out if the engine is still burning 1 quart of oil in 600 miles. If it does, I will park the truck for awhile until I decide if I will pull the engine and attempt another rebuild myself, or buy a long block from 22RE Performance. One option suggested was to pull the engine and replace the rings, but at that point I might as well completely rebuild it. I'll probably end up buying a long block from 22RE Performance.
I've learned a lot about this rebuild project, mostly what I didn't know and should have known. Unfortunately I trusted one of the most reputable and respected suppliers and my local machine shop. I also badly underestimated the cost and hours of labor. Now I have some strong opinions about what is really involved in successfully rebuilding one of these 22s that will last 250,000 or 300,000 miles.