the 18g is a solid daily driver turbo.... If you're wanting to change look into blouch's 16gxt, my buddy has one on his 02 and his spool up is great as well as solid top end. As far as tmic's go I would recommend a solid one, no ebay stuff. Process West makes a great one.
As far as budget goes im kinda open to whatever as long as its a solid setup. And i've read that the 18g is a solid daily driver turbo but have recently noticed some oil leaking from the bottom of it and have been unable to boost recently. So maybe i should just rebuild it?? And i also found out yesterday that my car has never been fully tuned. It had an open tune done at outback automotive in auburn, wa.