Originally Posted by Decipher
Stage II = best for the $...
After that, it's a money pit to do things properly.
The single best improvement is suspension related: swaybars, tires, alignment, and then coilovers. Do this first before upgrading the turbo! The car will feel a billion times better than the stock/death trap suspension setup.
Don't forget to budget for proper maint.... the 06-07 brakes may be nicer looking, plan on new rotors/pads every 2 years atleast...
From my experience, once I went to a larger turbo, mine just eats clutches.... once a year... brakes once a year... tires once a year.... 342hp/345tq on a 20g with zero trans issues over the 45k miles I've had the larger turbo, and 77k on the car....Clutches are cheaper than transmissions, but it's a constant reminder that if you have road rage like me, it'll add up $$$... but just remember to budget for all the maint crap...
Also you'll prob want a proper HID retro fit... and other cosmetic stuff... = more $$
If I could do it all over, I would have just bought the sti, kept it stage II