I am a bit concerned that people think the ecu just goes off on some holy crusade to willy nilly change the settings around constantly. If your local temps and config and gas are fairly similar, you shouldn't be seeing gigantic changes all across the board, etc. As Adam has posted many times, the timing curve is just fine for this engine. You have to fit your mods and your tuning to that curve and stop forcing it to move. I am not pointing fingers, but I know mine isn't changing each time I turn the car on and deeply altering its driving character each time I drive.
As far as helpful tools go, you may want to look into the GReddy WB meter, it's under 300 bucks, is analog, has similar accuracy to vastly more expensive unitys, has datalogging and looks nice in your dash
. For driving around town, it's great (certainly no DD, I would just use both unless you plan on installing a laptop in your car