Hope this helps a bit.....
I just sold my 04 Freelander with 63K miles on it. Loved it, ran like a top, but we had some concerns about its future! Bought a LR2 in place of it. That said, even though I no longer own one.....
-At 52K miles I had the very same issue. The VIS motors inside the intake manifold can sometimes be replaced (per the factory trained LR independent shop I used), but not often. Yes, the manifold costs about $1200. I was lucky....I found a guy on ebay who had one on his shelf, genuine, new in box and had it shipped to me for $775!! You might try checking ebay, else the dealer or other vendors (Atl British, etc...) are your only choices and, at the time, price seemed about the same between all. Oh, I just received a coupon in the mail from Atlantic British for 10% off orders through 1/31.....that would help a lot on $1200! You might check around online for the same coupon.
-Ticking noise.....I bought mine new off the lot in 2004. A few months later I took it back in due to what I thought was a problem with the engine ticking noise. I just shredded the old paperwork, but the dealer typed report stated "that is the way these engines are!" Anyway, mine tended to be loud when very cold out, but quieted when the engine warmed up.
Hope this helps a bit.
72 Series III
71 RHD Hillman Super Imp