I'd go with JLT. I spoke with a guy at AM, I called asking about the Steeda. He said they had gotten better numbers with the JLT. Now, a business is about making money so when a guy at a business tries to sell you on a product that's two hundred fewer dollars, there has to be a reason.
I say also JLT because the front of the S&B filters they use is open and has a little witch's hat instead of a cap on it like you see on Airad, Roush, BBK, or C&L.
Of the four mentioned above, with the exception of BBK, the JLT tube is straighter.
I'm not defending anyone... I have sold parts for over 20+ years, unfortunately we do not do high performance stuff, only stock O.E. replacement.
As far as AM steering you away from Steeda to the JLT it could just be personal preference.
AM sells the Steeda CAI for the same price that Steeda sells it for, at least for my 11 manual GT. so the price may be "fixed" by Steeda, similar to what Apple does with their products.
I personally like selling less expensive parts, I put more money in my pocket.
I can take a part that is $200 and mark it up more than I can with a $400 part. Just for example.
I'm not sure, but I doubt AM makes as much money on the Steeda CAI vs the JLT - money in the pocket = profit. Something to think about, if this matters to you.
As far as better numbers with the JLT, sure it is very possible. How much of it is the CAI and how much of it is the Tune that they use? I bet Steeda would get better numbers with their CAI and their tune, then if they did JLT CAI with their tune. Bama may just have more "practice" / larger database with the JLT then with the Steeda. The JLT being less expensive may be the preferred unit to go on their cars for the dyno pulls, maybe the get X amount of freebies from JLT to do this with.
Personally, I feel they are both good units, the key is getting the best tune to coexist with the CAI you are choosing, and the other mods you have and are planning to do.
I haven't installed a CAI yet on my car as I'm still trying to decide what I eventually want to do with the car, NA, SC, etc... I am planning my builds out as much as possible - I hate to redo stuff and waste money having to redo something.
2011 GT Premium, 400A, MT, Black with Stone interior
My Mods So Far (in order): VA Legal Tint, Polk DB571 Speakers - Front & Rear, Third brake light pulser, MMD Classic Louvers, GT500 AB, Bondra Performance EZ-Clutch Pedal Extension, resonators cut out - do this!, Steeda shorty black antenna.