If you do nothing else, do the tuner. The intake was about $250, might have done a little but mostly just sounded better. Exhaust was around $400. Again, great sound but the performance gains were negligable (better than the intake though). When I plugged in the tuner, OMG!! What a difference! The shift points are much stronger and the transmission holds the gears longer. No more sloppy shifting or the tranny not being able to figure out what gear it should be in. The power gains were incredible. I let my wife drive the truck after tuning it, she asked how much I spent on a new engine!
That being said, I have not dyno'ed stock vs. tuned...not really into numbers, only what I can feel (butt dyno). I've noticed around an 8mpg increase so far, but I'm doing a lot of stuff that directly affects mileage so I won't have solid numbers for awhile.
Ultimately, it's up to you. How do you want to spend your money? What are you looking for...performance, mileage, a little of both? IMO the Bamachips tuner is the first mod you should make regarding these points. I think you'll find most here will agree with me.
And no, you're not being a pain. I'd want to know how well my $400 was being invested too!
1998 Ford Ranger XLT 3.0 4x4
31" Wildcat AT's / Magnaflow Cat-Back Exhaust / SCT X-Cal 2 / K&N Cold Air Intake / Screamin' Demon Coil Pack / Underdrive/Overdrive Pulleys
Clear Head & Corner Lights with Silverstar Ultras / '07 Taillights / Advance Cover Hard Folding Tonneau / Herculiner Bed Liner / Kicker 10" CVR Sub
Kicker ZX 300.1 Amp / Explorer Leather & Power Seats, Center Console, OHC & AutoDim-Headlamp Mirror / 4.10 Gears
Too many to list here
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