Good stuff! Yes it is nice doing it in stages as you do get to feel the difference of each one. I hope they get good results on your exhaust - there are many different ways of doing it; keeping the same bore, increasing the bore to increase peak power (but lose low end torque) or reducing the bore to increase low end torque (less peak power gain). It'll improve whichever way they do it.
Well, I have the new exhaust system on now. Extremely pleased with the results!
I kept the same bore of 2.5" and the car feels much more nimble and pulls a bit harder now, torque is definitely up and acceleration with it. Feels a lot lighter and is smoother to drive around town and in traffic. That being said, the hesitation is still there - as we have long established this is a problem in map, so the fact that the 'breathing' has improved allows you to drive around the dip in engine response more easily, but it's still there (map to sort that this week!).
Sound wise, I went for mild sport. It is a little louder at idle but is quiet when cruising, with quite a deep throaty sound when you put your foot down, it's also quite pleasing on the overrun! I haven't stood behind the car and revved it up so I can't really comment on what it sounds like out back yet.
Workmanship in the pipework and welding is top-notch from what I can see, in the mild sport configuration the backboxes are very small and cylindrical in shape so they are nice and out of the way. However, my one issue is the placement of the brackets on the back-boxes. They are welded right round and underneath the back end of the silencer, and so are clearly visible from the rear of the car. To be honest, I think it looks a bit untidy. Will take some snaps and post them later so you can see what I mean. The manager, Tim, at longlife is due to call me today to arrange the remap and I think I will ask him if there is any alternative to what the fitter has done in terms of bracket placement. I can see that welding them right round is most likely the strongest way, but it seems a bit excessive.
Oh, and tail-pipe wise, they couldn't quite match the stock items (3-inch outer diameter), but they had ones with 3-inch bore in the same style. To be honest, I think these actually look better than the stock items as they have just that touch more presence without looking o-t-t. I guess they could re-use the stock ones, but they are very stubby so they'd have to join them to the back-box with an extra bit of pipe I think.