You are absolutely right, don't bother with the balancer because the cover is two pieces. There are three bolts behind it for the bottom section which can be a pain to get back started but it's not enough to warrant removing the balancer. Take your time and if you do replace the belt just work it around until it goes back on. BE SURE TO MARK THE CAMS BEFORE YOU LOOSEN OR REMOVE THE BELT. There are timing marks if you do bump them though.
Taking my time it took me 2-3 hours but I was replacing the water pump, belt and pulley.