Or is this the point where someone tells me to stop being such a cheap a$$ and just change it out?
With the oil filter housing off ... access is great for the CVV (crankcase vent valve) and related hoses.
Just order the parts and knock it out. (...including throttle body gasket and idle control valve seal/gasket - one that goes from idle control valve into the intake manifold).
You'll have addressed some heat/age related known failures and won't have to go back in there chasing vacuum leaks.
2000 528iT Sport 5M (mfg. 5/1999) ~ 1990 325iX 5M
BMW CCA member #130075