Man, that splined center part is really on there. I decided (after almost ruining a gear puller) I would cut it in quarters and pop it off. we'll see how that goes tomorrow. At this point im just psyched that i can continue and hopefully finish it up fairly quickly.
Forgot to mention, I replaced my clutch because I tow a lot, have elevated power levels, and high mileage. I thought I was getting slippage, but looking at the disc, it looked almost brand new. The fingers on the pressure plate had some wear and one of the clutch disc springs was loose and rattling around. I decided to do as much as I could at once, including replacing rear leaking traverse link bushing, group-n engine mounts, weld crack in exhaust, fix blown out exhaust gasket, change tranny fluid, and spark plugs. Everything except for this stupid clutch went well. I put it back together 4 times so far and probably messed the alignment up. At least the subaru parts guy had some mercy on my situation and gave me a discount on part i was replacing.
By the way, my car is a 07 WRX with an 18g EWG and has 176000 miles on it.