OP- I see no reason to ditch your xi. The front diff EASILY unbolts from the oil pan- 4 bolts. And axles can be removed in 5 minutes with air tools. At that point, the motor swap is as easy as a non-xi. If you need to swap in your xi oil pan, that's not a big deal either.
Sucks you need a motor, but it's not game over. You may even be able to just unbolt the oil pan and drop a new motor right in there.