Go forged, but get then cryo'd and shot peened while they're out.
Pull the motor, pull the heads, pull the pan... the only special tool needed is a ring compressor. You don't need a rebuild kit or an overhaul kit to reinstall rods (if you're not changing pistons and rings). Now if you cylinders are scored, that's a different story.
You can get forged rods for 100-200 bucks all day long. You can get them cryo'd and shot peened for a few hundred as well.
You can get headstuds for 600-700 depending on if you get ARP's or H11's. For about $1500 and your time... you could have a motor capable of holding 500...
Add some aftermarket rods, girdle, main studs, etc... etc... etc... and that price goes way up but your power limitation is much higher.