Did you know?A 'Vortec' 5.3L V8 produces 290 hp (216 kW), for the half-ton 1500 series.
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I have a Flowmaster 40-series on mine, single 3" in and dual 2.5" out. It sounds narly, it isn't annoying at all. As for intake, I had a K&N drop in filter, and I switched back to a stock filter and didn't notice any difference in fuel mileage or performance(according to my butt dyno).
I doubt that anyone's butt dyno could honestly notice a difference between stock and any of the CAIs out there. CAIs are a common performance upgrade due to low cost and very easy installation, not primarly due to results. I'm not saying you can't pick up some measureable HP on a real dyno, but whatever the gains are, expectations that you are going to feel the difference should be held in check.
I know what you're saying 100%. I was only stating that because I've seen a lot of people put a CAI on their vehicle and try to prove to me it is x amount faster.