If you are going bolt-on and don't know much about engines and don't really want to learn...Get a supercharger and be done with it. You'll have a mini-monster and not have to worry about 80% of the competition.
If you are more of a weekend warrior; get the Nitrous Kit. Start out small and work your way up. Its fairly cheap, You can play or not play. However, if you get serious, you'll endup building a N02 specific motor.
Turbos are more expensive to install, require more knowledge...if you want to do it right. You can throw together a kit for $2000 or less, as long as you don't need intercooling. But, turbos, more than any other power adder (except NO2) is addictive, most guys endup blowing up one motor, at least before they get some sense.
If you want a decent car that is fun to drive, sounds good makes the right noises. Then go N/A, but you'll have to learn how to drive, how to tune it and deal with the Smog Nazi. And given the state of mechanical knowledge, tools needed and room to work on the car...it can be a very expensive project if you have to job it out, or live in an apartment.
Bang for buck. Supercharger, NO2, N/A, Turbo.
reasoning: supercharger, buy it once its done. The kits on the market are great. You get just about eveything you need for a 50% or better boost to your existing horspower, without having to change anything. Most of the stuff you may have, cat back, mufflers, - you don't have to change. (Now if you start messing with the kit...your mileage may vary)
reasoning: NO2, much cheaper in the begining, but the mounting costs of NO2, running out, potential for mistakes..gets old in hurry. (again, I'm talking about the "other guy", you would do everything right).
reasoning: Naturally aspirated, is dependent on so many things being done right; buying the correct cam, get the heads done, building the short block. There are way too many variables, unless you already have a wealth of knowledge. It is way to expensive in upfront costs to get the car on the road. If you go with a crate motor, it can be done with less anxiety, but wheres the fun? Besides, you now have the same motor that every other Yahoo with $4-5K has in his pocket.
Reasoning: Turbos can be more than you care to drive or can put to the ground. Even though you can put them on a stock shortblock, they really need low-compression, forged piston, bullet-proof block to get mad power. On a stock block, it'll be a liablity after 500 - 550 hp, plus you'll need to seriously upgrade your fuel system, ignition system and traction.
Opinions, everyone has one. It all depends on what you want and how much hassle you can put up with.
Plus. it'll vary with which motor you are talking about, what car its in. If its a popular motor and popular body (Mustang, 5.0 (or any W-type sbf)), things are easier. If its an FE, you'll pay a premium for everything, including N/A. If its a BBF-Lima, you'll be on your own for anything except N/A...but that doesn't really matter, since you can put together 500 hp, without breaking a sweat. Swaps are the cheapest, most nit picking way to big power...if it'll fit.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Beoweolf on 4/19/06 7:54am ]</font>