used engine would be worth looking into. you can even use an EJ18, they're a dime a dozen. your EJ22 intake manifold will bolt right up to it.
i've picked up EJ18's and EJ22's for $150 - $300 tested, low mileage, with a warranty. every one has been excellent.
but engine prices may suck in the PNW around you. www.car-part.com
but - those engines are really easy to do headgaskets on too, and would be the easiest of all EJ's to do in the car. remove two lower 14mm engine mount nuts, pitch stopper bolt - and jack the engine up a few minutes. those heads come off with 6 external bolts - real simple. so to that end, it wouldn't take long to try. so you can save an engine pull as well, which is beneficial to some people.
i wouldn't use cheap ebay special headgaskets, Subaru or maybe Fel Pro (Fel Pro's later EJ gaskets are excellent).
+1 to the head resurfacing posted above, that's how i do mine. VERY easy to do. source the glass and it's a breeze. so nice not taking them into a machine shop, waiting, driving back.
Edited by grossgary, 10 February 2014 - 07:10 AM.