The point of all of this is, realistically a bit moot. You're right, but theres a lot of threads that appear asking how to get more out of the 1.6.
I wish I had bought a 2l. But I'd still be looking for more clout, the same as I did with my 325, my silva, my Vectra st200, my 93 ragtop, even back as far as my GTe Astra. All of which I dyno'd and spent a lot of beer tokens on squeezing more out of.
You're right, no replacement for displacement, if I wanted mental I'd still have the 280hp silvia!!!!
Or bought a hothouse green monaro....
BUT... I got cams for £20. I got the inlet for free. Other than spanner time and spanner rash it's cost me very little. I don't mind trying things for a giggle and maybe a few cheap horses thrown in too. There's a definite increase. I haven't dyno'd it yet as personal circumstances haven't let me get there!! Kids and modifying cars don't go we'll together!!
Decats are vosa fodder, fair enough, but if the secondary cat does the job of passing an mot then the primary's are a bit pointless, aren't they?
We are from the same school of experience, and if I had the money then the 147 would be supercharged and lightning fast. But it's down to tonight's lottery numbers...