yup, the sway bar was to blame..
It feels like the front end is bottoming out, but it's actually not the noise of the coil springs being fully compressed or the damper, it's the end links' bolt hitting the unibody everytime you hit a decent size bump!
Sway bar shifts over 4/3" left or right and this is what you get. Take a look and if you have a dent in that area, you have found the problem.
I've cut off the excess bolt and it's good for now.
If only i knew, i wouldn't buy new shocks and/or struts, new links and wasted days driving angry...