Yeah, my buddy on the East coast is running 17.9psi w/ electronic controller on his stock ECU. He drag races it. He runs 13 flat at the moment.
Eventually, years from now when the car is not my daily I plan on drag racing it, I'd like to see it do 10s which is what I was talking about. I'm not here to talk about what mods will support that.
Anyway, his car will hit peak boost at 2750rpm and pull pretty much to redline. He dyno's in at over 300, looking at close to 320. We will have the results in a few days when he finishes getting it tuned on his EMU Black. He's gonna post up the results for his stock ECU run, and his post-tune run on the EMU Black. The turbo can do 20psi no problem. There are people making ~330hp on the CT15B with the billet compressor wheel. Retaining that spool as well.
My thoughts are that you're biased towards your gen2 build, you fail to see the benefit of running that cast-in-manifold turbo. I can always do aftermarket ECU, internals, whatever I want later on but for now I want ~300 horsepower and a drop-in gen5 will do that for me.
This is a stock boost ST215 3S-GTE dyno, looks like 13 psi comes in at 3200 RPM or so. 18+ psi should be in the 3400-3600 RPM range. I've never really seen a 2L make that much boost that early on a turbo that can make 300+ rwhp, so maybe he gets that much boost that early, but it'd be highly unusual based on my experience with lots of 2L turbos.
I think you misunderstand me, I don't think a modded gen2 3S-GTE is a great engine. In fact, I'd put it behind many other Japanese 4 cylinders of the era. The head doesn't flow well, the timing belt + distributor is a pain (biggest limit to my setup now, and yes, I have coil on plug), it weighs a lot, and the early 3S block isn't that reliable beyond ~350-400 rwhp.
I only mention that if you're wanting to really mod your car, I'd say mod towards those goals. I went through 5 or 6 turbos on my old SR20DET in an S13, and looking back on it, I should have been a little more deliberate in what my end goals were. If you want to run 10s, I'd look at a turbo you can use to get you there going forward (a CT15B, or a CT15B with a billet compressor wheel won't do it). Same with a pushed to the hilt stock ECU vs. a standalone - the standalone will get you there, so why not jump in with both feet. It takes too much time to do this stuff and get it all working well to constantly be trying to switch big parts out IMO. Just my 2 cents from someone who's been there, done that.