Re: Need advice on pickup and wiring / pots upgrades
I recently rewired my entire lp with "jimmy page wiring" for 4 push/pull pots w/ coil tapping and phase switching, new pickups, etc.
My previous electrical experience consisted of screwing in a light bulb and flipping the switch to turn it on and I had no trouble at all with doing a more complicated wiring than you are thinking of. Be sure to have patience and read your wiring diagram step by step without rushing through, and you should have no trouble doing it yourself! I think you'll find it's much more satisfying playing the guitar knowing you did it all yourself instead of paying a guitar tech to do the basics.
The wiring kits on ebay and online retailers are generally good...just read the details in the auction to be sure all the parts you are getting are exactly what you need. I'd check the tonefreaks section of this site for more info on exactly what you need.
As for pickups, it's completely a personal decision based on the tone you are looking for and the type of music you play. For pickups on a tight budget I would look at Irongear (I have the Rolling Mills that I think are great for the price) or maybe some from Guitarfetish. Of course these arn't going to blow away the handmade boutique pickups for a couple hundred dollars a piece, but I think either of these are a good option to the average Seymour Duncan, Dimarzio etc. pup in the $100 range. The Irongear site has some sound clips that are really helpful and even if you live in the US like me the shipping is cheap and fast. Also, you can always consider picking up a used set of any brand on ebay to save some cash.
Right now I have a Seymour Duncan JB in the bridge of my epi. A lot of people here will recommend it and it's a great pickup for a certain tone but I don't care for it at all. Give me a vintage PAF style pup and I'll be in heaven, but a metal player would hate it. So, my point is just read up online on what would best suit your style and once you come up with a short list of choices I'm sure we can give you some pros and cons of each to help narrow it down.