Yes, I have a 2.2 now, but the 1.8 will live on for sure. The 1.8 block with 2.2 heads is really an awesome combo. While mine is out I'd like to get new piston rings in there and switch to N/A 2.2 heads but with the turbo cams, maybe uprated valvetrain stuff for more revs.
What headgaskets did you use? I'm thinking I had problems because I re-used old gaskets. I've read the frankenmotors should have headgaskets that match the bore, but I'm using 2.5 gaskets with my 2.2 block. Seems fine so far.
Pre-turbo exhaust leak you say? Hmm I'll investigate. The noise times with the wastegate after all...
I was using a ej18 block with SOHC 2.2 (dual port) heads. I used brand new ej22 headgaskets (shitty oem composite). I would love to build another one to see if using MLS headgaskets would fix the issue. The composite gaskets are just not strong enough for turbo applications. I think some 3-layer steel gaskets (similar to ej205/ej257) would hold up.
I was running greddy e-manage blue. Worked pretty well, was able to adjust fuel and timing, timing is the real important adjustment when boosting, you need to be able to scale it back in the high RPM ranges. The car was dead even with a stock STi back in 2005. Ran a 13.2 in the 1/4