i invested in a pair of "retaining ring pliers" at sears today for $15. may seem like a lot for a set of pliers, but the aggravation you save by not having to waste your time with screwdrivers and needlenose pliers to get those snap rings with no holes off is well worth it. these things are spring loaded and have a knurled surface to grab the ends of the snap ring, unlike regular snap ring pliers.
and for the steering arm knuckle cone washers, i whack on the under side of the steering arm a few times and that usually knocks them loose.
my hardest thing to do was remembering how the knuckles go back on. first time through, i put them on the wrong sides. easiest way to do it is to remember that the square plug faces upward, steering stop bolts toward the axle, and the caliper mount facing the rear of the truck.