Hey guys, I hate that this is my first post, but I'm having some problems with my '03 Forester. The front end is making the strange metallic clicking(?) sound.
Welcome to the forum from Dayton - birthplace of Aviation (and the radar detector)
You are already checking bearings, axles, joints, rotating parts - all the things that a sensible person would check. But Subaru engineers have included a few mystery parts that also make noises. Chief among these is the fuel line dampers - two small, silver dollar-sized, round gizmos located near the driver's side wheel well. They're black, near the center of the picture. They look vaguely like a man's hat:
Occasionally, these dampers get noisy. It's easy to hear this noise inside the vehicle . . . but hard to hear standing next to a running engine with the hood up. You can check for this (and maybe eliminate this from your list) by taking a long metal rod (socket extension, long screwdriver, ???) and touch one end to the damper. Press the other end of the rod against your lips. If they're 'clicking' it will be immediately obvious. This same technique works well locating the source of other sounds coming from a running engine.
If it is a noisy damper, the only fix is replacement. The price is your first born - they are @#$%^& expensive.