This will probably get deleted or moved to purgatory so read it while you can.
Just some pics for now, maybe some thoughts later. Just for the record, the vacuum tube isn't as close to the serpentine belt as it looks in the picture. Any questions feel free to ask.
So some thoughts on the first picture:
This is the way it's supposed to be installed, except that I didn't remove the original air box, it was more of a test setup, or as the title of the thread suggests, I was playing around with it. Everything you need is included, a 90 elbow, a straight pipe with holes for vacuum and air temperature sensor, and a three inch air filter, along with all necessary clamps. It was well package and the only real problem I ran into was with the IAT sensor. First I couldn't get it into the hole, you'll probably need a different grommet to get it to fit properly. The other problem was also IAT sensor related, the wires don't reach the new sensor location, but you can coax them into fitting with a zip tie.
As for performance, it's hard to say if a HEMI is any faster since it's already pretty fast, but I can say that it's damn loud, maybe even too loud but I haven't decided on that one just yet. Otherwise it was package well, arrived quickly, and was cheap at 45.00 shipped.
As for the second picture:
After seeing all of the different intakes available for the 5.7, I noticed the AirRaid Jr (I believe) only comes with a pipe that connects to the stock air box and a new filter. I guess the idea behind this is to remove any restriction from the resonator, while still keeping the air filter in its original position which is fully sealed from under hood temperatures. Between the lowered restriction, the higher flow filter, and the fully sealed box you wind up with what should be a pretty decent setup.
So that's what the second picture is, it shows some rigging used to make this setup more similar to an AirRaid Jr. If you were to go this way though you'd probably be better off buying the parts individually from a local parts store, while also adding a K&N panel filter or something similar.
Just wanted to try it out, the most obvious difference is that the engine sounds virtually identical to the way it sounds with the resonator, whereas the first picture sounds totally different.
I think that if you were ever to try a DIY intake, or an eBay intake, the 5.7 is one of the easiest to do it with because it's basically a 90 degree elbow, and a straight pipe. Some setups are different, for example the MOPAR intake goes to the fender, and the K&N goes to the same general area the eBay intake does, except that it bends downwards and uses a six inch air filter.
At the end of the day the best reason to get a name brand intake is because resale value on them is very high, if you pay 245.00 on an intake you could probably look to resell it in the future for 200.00 shipped worst case scenario.
I don't know exactly what I'll decide to go with, but one interesting thing I figured out is that it would be really cheap to do an AirRaid Jr type setup. There is already a connection at the airbox, and there are two hose clamps at the throttle body, so all you'd need would be a 90 degree elbow, a straight pipe, and an air filter. If you got a Fram AirHog (don't know if they are good but they run about 15.00) you'd have a pretty cheap setup.