HOLY SHIT! I had these same exact problems, there was like 5 other people on the boards that had these symptoms i had too.
And check this, there's like 20 people on there that had the same problem, second gen, 2.7L. WTF!!!
you might be able to rebuild the bottom end on your own, it depends on how badly the bottom end is messed up..
Mechanic said that the whole lower half was pretty much welded together. So much for that.
My dad had an idea, buy a long block (found one for 2800), bring that and the car to the vocational school and see if they will do it. I'm really good friends with one of the teachers there, maybe he could hook me up. And i'm sure they're always looking for cars to work on.
On a sadder note, this looks like it's it for the trep. My parents said that they'll probably replace the engine and sell it. And you know what, i can't really blame them. I've experience many small things in this car (well except for this), that just aren't very good. I won't be buying another intrepid, most def. I'll stick around here though, it's fun posting and whatnot, and you guys are cool. I'll keep you updated on the whole engine swap thing. I've kinda cooled down now, still wanna rip someones head off (aka people at dodge).