I thought about that. Scared me a little bit - I was afraid that if it got to the bond line, it might attack the adhesive.
In any event, problem has been solved. The way I got there will scare all of you and not let me near any of your gear. I heat soaked the lens for a while, wrapped inside a heating pad. It still didn't want to come out with gentle pushing. Finally, I used the foam wrapped back of a pair of pliers and tapped on the nose with a hammer (okay, about as hard as you would to drive in a 15 gauge finish nail) a bunch of times, moving the handle around the perimeter as the lens shifted. Finally, it popped out with not a mark on it. It's been cleaned, re-assembled properly and is now much happier (as am I, if only I could get permissions right on this @#$*&#^$@ Windows 7 computer)

Dan