Now your cooking with gas . . .
One thing I am not is a designer, I like to see how others have done things and look for the best practice - - A COC of how I did the X-Axis, put the thrust bearings at the handle side and a bearing on the motor side - Idea was to have the shaft supported by itself and not by the stepper.
Still dink'n with the Y, want to keep the turn handle in place so driving it from the rear of the table is the option, an option that has a few 'Oh Darn' moments of its own going on. Making balsa mock-ups to get an idea of the fit-up . .