I fully disassembled, cleaned and regreased the bearings of my semi integrated headset. After reinstallation I was unable to adjust the "perfect" preload to eliminate all play and without having stiffness in the steering. Somehow there still is a tiny amount of play in the steering when checking really thoroughly with pulled front brake and moving the bike back and forth. When adjusting the preload this either results in steering stiffness or this tiny amount of play (no real rattling or knocking, more like some subtle play of the fork when paying close attention). The bearings didn't look damaged to me or anything like that. Is this subtle play acceptable/normal or should I investigate this further? Is it possible that some movement in the bearings themselves can transfer to the fork and create this slight noticable movement? I've added some pictures although I'm not sure if they're helpful.
I think I've finally figured out why there was still slight play despite the top bolt being tightened. It looks as if only the two spacers below my stem slide over each other and have subtle play. Since the spacers are not tight around the tube, some lateral movement is probably noticeable. I assume that this is not an indication of a poorly adjusted headset? If I fully tighten the adjustment bolt, the play in the spacers also disappears. The real bearing play can be eliminated with significantly less torque. I uploaded a video that hopefully shows the phenomenon: https://www.veed.io/view/04f7c2d1-d2ca-4d23-9220-7069fdd15ada