not gonna lie, nothing you said was that bad. maybe the head gasket.
i literally just got done replacing everything steering related in my car.
i'm honestly happy i did it, and i essentially have an entirely new front end. i can't think of one thing in the front that is not new now
anyway, i've had a few project things like this. they're expensive and take time, but that's just how a car is.
it doesn't make you money, it consumes it.
i had to replace that crap because i hit something on the interstate just like you did.