The OME HD changed its handling from floaty to purposeful without being harsh. It's the best thing I did to that truck. I didn't measure after break-in, but subsequent outings on three to four-rated trails were never an issue. When lifting there's a risk of extra wear on factory CV joints. Using spring spacers might exacerbate that issue.
The best clearance approach was the OME along with 33" tires. Some mods were needed to get them to fit without rubbing but it's entirely possible. I never had an issue with the big tires, adding two inches of clearance. It was still my daily driver without much compromise.
I sold the Montero due to a separation. We've since reunited and both wanted to get back into it - hence the H3. It's just as capable, but the Gen III offered more room, a far better driving position and its throttle response and tiptronic-style shifting are sorely missed, especially on the trail.
I've been following your build. Makes me miss mine.