Just to bump this great thread one more time, I'd like to add my two cents and how I hope to accomplish avoiding boost creep. I'll also explain why I'm going this route.
I plan to keep the stock CBE and add a catless Cobb DP. I believe this will prevent boost creep by creating plenty of back pressure, but still set me up fine for Stage 2 due to the belmouth DP.
The reason I'm going this route is two fold. First, cost. Second, stealthiness. I realize people that live in states with emissions testing this is probably not a great thing to do, but for me it should be fine. Cost (all costs included shipping):
For Stage 2:
New Cobb AP: $627
Used Cobb DP: $350
Stock CBE: $FREE
That gets me to Stage 2 for under $1,000
For Stage 2.5
Used STi TMIC: $150
Used VF30: $400
I'll be at Stage 2.5 for a touch over $1,600. Pretty amazing when you think about it. I'll keep you guys posted on progress and boost creep issues. I plan on doing this one Stage at a time and leaving it there for at least a month.