It doesn't take very long. You have to pull out the center console and get under the car. You may need another person. When the guy underneeth is loosening things, the bolts may turn, so the guy in the car may need to hold them with some pliers. You might also want to take off the exhaust b-pipe for some extra room to work, but that may be more trouble than it's worth.
You dont need to remove your exhaust, but you need to jack up your car...and you can retain your shift knob, just make sure you unbolt the stabalizing bar on the bottom of hte block, makes things easier!