This is an nice detailed write up, but you are making a mountain out of a molehill.
I've had my fuel rail off a few times now.
There is no need to remove the air distributor.
The clips for the injector harness are easily done like this:
Get some long nosed pliers and push one side of the first clip down the side of its housing (it'll move there and stay there easily), and, while applying slight upwards pressure on the harness with your hands, push the other side of the clip out a bit. That plug will then be free. Keep the lifting pressure in place so that it doesn't clip back down, and move on to the next injector plug. When you get to the end, the whole assembly will lift free easily.