I ended up going with the K&N for a few reasons. Sharing my insights and opinions to hopefully help others make better informed decisions...
1. The K&N comes with a smooth intake elbow maximizing airflow while removing some of the noise reduction (which I don't necessarily mind). OEM builds include a lot of sound reducing materials which, while they do reduce noise, they also take away from optimal performance (ie: take a look at the mid resonators [ideal would be an x-pipe], the ribs in the rubber intake [ideal would be smooth], etc.).
2. Oiled filter over a dry filter because oiled filters flow better than dry filters. So much so that a dirty oiled filter will perform as good (or better) than a clean dry filter. Airaid's site
shows some insights into that but there are other forums where members have run actual tests. I don't mind oiling the filter every 10k miles (or whenever it needs it) as it takes maybe 20-30 minutes and provides maximum performance which is why I'm doing this mod in the first place.
3. K&N over Airaid because I got the K&N virtually at cost. With the $50 rebate the Airaid would still have been about $35 less, but the additional cost was worth it to get the smooth elbow. While most of you probably won't be lucky enough to get as good of a deal, Autoanything had a 20% off coupon which could've been applied to the K&N saving over $50 off. Not sure if it's still around, but they are often having those kinds of sales.
4. Heat soak: While the rubber material might be a little better than metal (ie: aluminum), I am planning on adding something like this
to help reduce heat soak.
Thanks to those that chimed in and happy modding