it sure is!! although being a 1999, your car isn't so prone to sludge. But if it does have the problem, it will probably need more cleaned up than the pickup screen! But yes, just drop the pan(kind of a pain) and you should be able to remove the pickup and a plate inside.
far from crap! Some people may have bad experiences, as in any brand, but some people just refuse to take care of them properly. What other car has ever gone over a million miles..on the original engine. No rebuilds if I recall correctly. Just maintenance and a couple replacement parts that are well expected on any car.
The actual cleaning of the screen is easy, getting to that point can take a little time though. I did mine several weeks ago just for fun and to cut my balance shaft chain.
To do mine I:
drained the oil
removed the downpipe from the turbo
Dropped the rear section of the subframe
seperate the engine mount form the subframe
jacked up the engine and removed the oil pan
take the pan apart and clean her up!
Put all the crap back together and refill with oil (did a filter change of coarse as well).
Mine was pretty clean with only a few specs up crud on the pickup screeen, and some nasty lookin oil in the bottom of the pan. Otherwise it looked good.
BTW: Make sure you have anarobic gasket sealer for the oilpan.