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To me, it sounds like the first thing you need are some gauges, and since you aren't running properly, I would get a CTS type that let's you check multiple parameters.
The turbo doesn't rely on any sensors to spin up. It requires a simple difference in pressure between intake and exhaust. If you're not building boost, you have a leak on one side or the other. Check your CAC boots, check for the soot indication of exhaust leaks. You may need to build a pressure tester for the whole intake system, but check the easy stuff first.
As far as the "kick you back in your seat" feeling, if you were having that, then the previous owner had the PCM programmed. A stock 7.3 will set you back about as hard as a BMX bike. If you've ever driven a Geo Metro, you've felt more g-force. They're strong as all get out, but speed wasn't their thing.
If your waste gate is stuck, you should hear it in the exhaust at idle. There are a couple of videos on here that show a stuck waste gate. When you do decide to chip it, don't go with the stuff you find in magazines. PHP, TW, DP, Beans, and a few others are respectable tuners that will give you performance, without the negative side effects that big box programmers bring with them.
Without gauges installed so you can actually see what the truck is doing, it's all guess work. What I like about my Insight CTS is the ease of which I can view several items. I constantly monitor ICP, EGT, IPR, TFT, EOT, boost, and a few other things. But, watching those will let me know if something catastrophic is about to happen, as well as help me figure out a problem that does happen.
*Ninja Edit* Pull your intake and check your turbo wheel. Quick and easy to do, and if the wheel is all chewed up, that would be the cause of no boost.
2002 F250 CCSB 4x4
PHP Phoenix, John Woods VB, NUC bypass, 6637
"No country can be called free which is governed by an absolute power;
and it matters not whether it be an absolute royal power or an absolute
legislative power, as the consequences will be the same to the people."
--Thomas Paine, Four Letters on Interesting Subjects, 1776