Cat-back Or Axle Back ?

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Cat-back or Axle-back which one is the better bang for the buck? I am just starting out on a n 09 with 17000 miles. It is destined to be a cruiser/show car. Opinions?

Neither. The stock midpipes behind the cats aren't restrictive, and you'd be lucky to gain more than 3hp from aftermarket axlebacks.
There are only two exhaust mods that are worth any meaningful HP gains. One of them is LT headers (16hp) but since the cost of the headers/shorty midpipe is at least $750 and installation costs another $600 (6 hours labor), that's over $80 per hp. The other is a standard length offroad midpipe keeping the stock headers & catbacks. At $200 for an 8hp gain, this is much more worthwhile and installation takes less than an hour but your state may not allow it.