You'll likely need to do this after the 1.6 RRs and a 52mm TB. But I don't think it would hurt to do it sooner. As I understand it the B-Maf is the next big restriction if you've got a good induction system like the SSRI and have installed 1.6 RRs.
Right... A larger TB, 1.6 rr's and better cold air system hardly necessitates a larger MAF... The engine can only use so much air. Once you are making 300 RWHP, then consider a larger MAF.
We did Dyno tests on this several years ago, and the only cars that it helped out on were the HEADS/CAM cars... One car with a crane 227 actually lost 2 hp... I gained 12hp. Another bolton car gained Zero.....
I am still running a stock MAF. I figure I'll get myself ready to do the bigger TB and MAF at the same time, that way I can go to the track with the laptop, make one run, swap MAF sensors, program, make another run, swap TB's, make a run (I don't need to reprogram for a TB...yay T56), then swap back to the stock MAF and program again and make a 4th run. If it's a good day at the track (not too many people), I'll try to make a couple runs with each setup. That way I can report back which one was the bigger gain, and what the 2 together did. I just need to decide what companies TB I want to run...if I don't just have my spare stocker machined out to 52...all depends what size TB I want I guess. I think a 52 will be more than enough for my current setup, but do I want to go bigger for future engine plans (likely on an LT1 in a cleaner nicer car) or not...time will tell. That said though, I don't think you should worry about the MAF yet...Noel is a smart dude to listen to now and then.
Something told me this was going to be a somewhat divisive subject with differing view points. FWIW, I waited until I had done just about every other bolt-on mod and when this was the only one left I did a search. I believe this was the thread that convinced me to go ahead and get the F-MAF linky. Read down toward the end for the flow rates of the different MAFs.
One other note, with all the bolt-ons (most notably the TC) I am putting more power to rear wheels than my stock LT4 vette, which has a 3.5" MAF. I think that it really depends on a lot of factors as to whether or not you need the bigger MAF. I believe that in my case the F-MAF was the right choice! Fact is, they're cheap (I paid $60) and with programming there shouldn't be any negative impact.
Oh and yea, I like o'l Noel too, he's a really Fart Smeller.