I'd look into an access port like your friend had if you can't find a local shop. That will allow you to get some basic tunes for any upgrades without having to go through the whole dyno ordeal. They wont' be perfect, but they'll work. Safe bet.

You can always go open source if you feel like doing a lot of reading and are confident in yourself. Cheaper this way, and it fits your car perfectly. Cheap and slightly better bet.

Or find a good shop. Easy and probably best bet.

As far as actual upgrades, actually a 'stage 1' map on a stock car makes a pretty nice difference. Will smooth out your power band a lot for you. Throw on a turbo back exhaust and you are up to 'stage 2' I am pretty sure. After that it starts to get pricier power wise. Depending on what you want to do with it, look into suspension mods from there out I'd say =)

Great references and reading: