Just to follow up. Here is what I ended up doing to mount the parking brake handle. Still a work in progress, but a nice solution IMHO.
Pilot side down below the panel and under the air vents.
Parking brake handle mount was made from some leftover angle stock. The small angle holding it against the side skin was leftover material from the subpanel gap seal support.
This bulkhead penetration will get a small rubber bushing.