Chuck, the only way LIM porting could have blown your motor is if you ported out the ports so far that it 'voided' the LIM gaskets and allowed coolant ingestion.
Glad you're happy with it. Every member here who'* done it has really enjoyed it. Although I find it hard to imagine what you felt was a good comparison, having not driven the car in so long to have something to compare to. My bet is your butt was just damn happy to have a kick in it after waiting for the car for so long.
The ported LIM is the best bang for your buck for the L36, assuming you do the work yourself and only have to pay for gaskets. It'* far more effective than a gutted airbox or high-flow Cat, but really does go hand-in-hand with those mods. The difference is remarkable, but primarily because the factory port quality (casting) is so very poor to begin with on the L36.