Well, here's an update. I got my days off, so far, so I gotta do something. Called two reputable and recommended shops and neither will touch the car even for an alternator swap. So I decided to bite the bullet. Using this link How-To: Alternator Swap 2.5L (2005-2009)
Everything was going fine until an internal torx head bolt on the bottom tensioner stripped out. Can't get it off. The top slipped once and I stopped. Can't get much of a vise grip on it. Hit the head with a hammer a few times, nothing. TBH, by following the thread on changing it, it's been an easy job, until the bolt.stripped. now I'm really stuck
Hmm, it would be nice; if you had access to some more pro level tools (e.g. welder/torch; die grinder, etc); otherwise, you might check out some of the "bolt out" type tool kits. Most auto parts stores, should have something; that could work or the bolt outs, can sometimes grip the outer part of the bolt head and you can loosen it, that way.
Here are some tool ideas and some videos; going over possible solutions:
Looking at your photo, one thing to keep in mind; the fastener is not a TORX but a XZN/TRIPLE SQUARE! If you used a traditional Torx socket; I can see, how things got stripped out, right away. Most Auto Parts Stores, sell XZN/Triple Square socket sets; VW and other German car makers, use them all over their cars.
I went to AZ and O'Reilly to get the right tool and neither had anything. The closet was an 8mm hex head. Fit tight on a bolt that I already took out. Was probably the angle I had it at. As far as pro level tools, I have all but the torch but reaching the top bolt will be difficult with anything, impossible with some of the options. I could cut the head off with a die grinder but getting the rest of the bolt out could prove just as difficult if it's in tight.
I've decided to take it in to a shop for a few reasons. The bolt is one, the other is my shoulder can't take the work. I live in a small.town but I didn't think it was this small. Called at least 6 shops and only two will even work on it and one didn't call me.back. I will say this about the job. Other than a bolt that I stripped out, changing an alternator is not a hard job. Book lists it at 5 hours but in less than an hour, with a bad shoulder and continually looking at phone pics, I had it down to two bolts left and can reach both. I put it all back together in 15 minutes for the shop. And that was laying on the garage floor with the car about a foot off the ground.