Bumping this up, if it helps anyone.
To change the LQ1 alternator, the subframe doesn't have to be lowered, but the CV Axle and shield do have to be removed. Doing this lets you have a "landing" spot for the alternator. I took the wheel bearing off on mine because it was easier than messing with the lower control arm. Plus you risk damaging the boot if you use a pickle fork to pop the lower ball joint off. The other advantage is that it gives you visibility to the alternator through the spring perch, which you don't get with the wheel bearing bolted on. Remove 4 15mm bolts and it's out.
The major thing here are tools. A flex head ratcheting wrench works wonders on that 10mm bolt that attaches the alternator to that back bracket and it's easier to use a ratcheting wrench on the two 13mm bolts that hold the alternator up.
Shallow sockets are too small and deep sockets are too large so if you can find a mid length socket for the 13mm's it's pretty easy to get the bolts off (It's easier to loosen them up with a ratchet and then work them out with the ratcheting wrench). The top bolt is barely visible, especially if you're working on the floor but it can be loosened without lowering the subframe. The lower bolt (the long bolt) will hit the frame but doesn't need to fully come out like it does on a traditional alternator swap. There's a groove where it sits and it will rock out. Then if you want, you can take it off and it slides above the heater tube (or I think it's the heater tube, that annoying tube that sits by the frame). There's a spacer on the engine side so be aware of that or you'll lose it in the abyss of the ground.
Honestly, 30 years after that engine was designed; there's alternators in worse positions. This isn't the worst job on the LQ1, I'm pretty sure that title goes to the timing belt.