So I just did this fix, my blower was fine but I WD-40d the spindle anyway just to eek out some more life from it. Looked like it had gotten wet, and the soundproofing on the lower dash panel had a small water stain on it. The only part that was burned out was the FSU, which I got from the dealer for $88+tax, which was price matched to ECS price plus shipping. I couldn't wait - it is still hot in GA. Took longer to drive to get the part than to do the fix. Great tutorial!
My question is, how do I prevent water ingress again? My gutters and screens on either side of the cowl are clear. Is there something else I am missing that may be blocked up? My car is parked outside (THE HORROR!)... so come fall, the leaves get everywhere...
EDIT: Oh also, with a little finesse, I was able to remove the blower/FSU assembly without fully removing the lower ducting which saved a big headache and some time. If you just loosen the duct off of the blower assembly and pull it down and toward the cabin slightly, you can rotate and drop the blower without much hassle.