Dunno about the axles, but the tie rods are pretty easy. I used the universal tie rod tool form Harbor Freight, but I've read it's doable with a narrow enough open end wrench (such as a spanner wrench used in bicycle repair).
I replaced both driveaxles on my '97 Passat a few weeks ago. I got the replacement axles at NAPA, they were $87 and have lifetime warranty. I would not say it was too difficult, but I did run into a few things that made it a PITA -- my drivers side axle was stuck in the hub pretty badly, and I had some problems removing the hex bolts that hold the axles to the transmission. It will take at least 8 hours and some swearing, but it's not too hard of a job if you have the right tools. On each side, you are basically undoing the big 30mm nut that holds axle in the hub, undoing the 2 18mm bolts that hold the struts, then 8? hex bolts (7mm? get the right hex bit, it's very important) on the transmission side. Reverse procedure to re-assemble, alignment is needed afterwords.
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