If you take out the egr pipe thats in the intake manifold you car will more noticeably more responsive and maybe a few hp up top. Here the Write up/Tech for the NA EGR MOD I did way back in december 2001....
If you want to get the pipe out without taking out the freeze plug, there are a couple of ways to go at it. We just took a screwdriver and a hammer and hit it until it bent enough to pop itself out if its holes and fall out.
A guy on ClubLexus told me he just sawzalled through the bar and then knocked them out with a screwdriver.
Either way you should fill the holes that are left on the inside of the manifold or I'm told you get a nasty whistling noise (plus I'm sure it hurts flow). I've heard of people using freeze plugs, or lead, or we're using JB Weld. I'd imagine at this point you don't really need a blockoff plate since nothing would be able to get into the air tract anyway, but I'm still going to put one on.