Easiest way to get to the filter for me is from the top. Stand over the passenger side fender and reach down with your right hand between the front of the engine and the radiator.
Of course, I don't have big hands or arms. Agree about the factory filter...like it was torqued down by Zeus himself!
Don't worry about splashing oil on the top of the underbody cover. Mitsubishi provides a convenient little spout underneath the oil filter housing to keep oil from going everywhere.