No way the Ford beat those cars off the line and I hate Dubai, but man if the Block dude isn't badass.
There's something I've been seeing about an rx7 rear diff upgrade too where you can rebuild the RX-7 LSD into the miata diff housing. I think the rear diff should be pretty far down my list of things to do for a street car right now.
Re: having made the wrong choice...
That's the fun of doing something like this. I can always 'start over' if I get bored with the car. At the price I got it for and the upkeep I'm doing, I should atleast get most of my money back if I sell it, especially if I go back to stock or find another enthusiast that likes the fact that the work has been done well. Obviously, going megasquirt etc would complicate that, but it would also make the car a lot more fun.
That said, the mazdaspeed miata was certainly a thing and was built on what is basically this engine. It suffered from a poor choice of just about everything...ecu, turbo, and intercooler. Can be built up though and there are a few that pop up locally. Can be more cost effective to build that or put in a supercharger. A lot of the cooling issues you talk about have been dealt with in even the 5k setups and the issues would only actually come up on the track....which is why the NA build sounds fun to me. For now anyway! It's also way cheaper, more reliable, and will be far less headachey=more enjoyment and less tinkering time.
In any event, this weekend:
(There's a 2jz waiting for this sucker)