you do not have to drop the tranny out to install the MGW unit but as stated not sure about the others. you only have to lower it slightly which takes all of literally 2 minutes to do. 4 bolts and you are done.
some key advantages of the MGW unit are...
its a COMPLETE replacement shifter not just the center shaft so it addresses several of the oem units shortcomings not just the short throw aspect.
mainly the "flex" that the stock unit has with the rubber mounting bracket in the back. the MGW unit replaces this bracket with a cnc machined bracket with hi temp poly bushings in them.
also the spring return to neutral in the stock unit is not strong enough. as you know or may not know, the STOCK unit does NOT have any internal springs it only relies on the spring back internal to the tranny. the MGW unit offers additional internal springs to make the 2-3 shift a no miss!!!
if you have a lift the install can easily be done yourself and even if you dont but have jack stands it can be done at home in your driveway or garage.
this saturday i have a gentleman coming from atlanta to do an install and we are going to video document the install step by step so it will really help you see whats involved. i think this install will be useful whether you buy the MGW Hurst or MTI unit.