So glad to find a recent post about this. Considering ordering a new top for my 03'. Question, it is suppose to be a power top but didn't work when I bought it so my roommate released the motor so I can just pull it up and push it down etc. Do I need to now buy the motorized version or the manual version or does it matter? So glad to hear I don't have to gut the back end of the car to do this. I have new motors from a salvage find but don't look forward to pulling the entire thing apart and can deal with manually doing the top to avoid that!I bought a top from EZ-ON and they send you nothing but the top itself. The back window doesn't even include the side brackets that are riveted in where the ball joints attach. I didn't know this ahead of time so I had to pull them off the old window and rivet them onto the new one with it attached, what a pain.
Also, you will need the zipper tool. I tried using zipper tabs to zip it up but that proved fruitless. I'm currently waiting on the zipper tool from snap-on. You don't need the staple gun as long as you have staples. You can just poke them through and use a pliers to flatten them out. You also don't need the bracket that VW or Bentley call for as long as you place a furniture blanket like I did or some other thick blanket underneath the rear bracket, you won't scratch the car.
Another tip I came up with myself is for the part where you have to slide the new top in and all the way around the rear bracket - if you are by yourself which I was, you can spray some silicone lubricant in the track sparingly and it slides so much easier.
You don't need to remove the back seats or the side panels either. The rear headrests pop right off to make it easier to put the interior liner around the rear window track.
So far it's a very DIY job. If you are a little handy and can follow directions and know how to use a rivet gun and a zipper tool, you'll be fine. I'm only using one video to follow along, the YouTube video in spanish that has the red bar at the top that says By Meca. I also have the PDF guide I found on here in case I need more detail but haven't needed it yet.