It sounds like its not getting fuel, pressure test the system at the fuel pump, make sure you get the right amount of pressure coming out at the pump.
You can get a pressure test kit at any auto parts store. Usually like $40 bucks. or some will loan it out.
Once you have the fitting in line, see how much pressure is being sent out, just look up the specs of how much it should be sending. If its not sending the correct psi, then fuel pump is problem. If it is getting correct amount, problem at the injectors.
Or just pressure test it after the fuel filter as well, if not correct amount after filter, could be a clogged fuel filter as well.
Thaks I'll check into the pressure test kit...
As for engine swap; If i do get the issue handled, my 22re only has 186k original miles, my dad has been the only owner since new, so until valves knock or worse, i'm sticking to the trusty 22...
But if I do get an engine swap: 3s BEAMS.