Buy pickups to solve specific probs that can't be solved any other way. Say your prob is you want a little more hair in your sound. I don't care what the reviews say, if your pickups are far away from the strings, first try bringing them as close as you can without rubbing when you play them (except EMGs, then you can let 'em rub). If it's too much, back off. too little, play with your pre gain in addition. Need more clarity? Back the pickups away from the strings some. Back off the pre. Try cutting EQ here and there. Don't run the action too low for your playing style. Try absolutely everything that's free before thinking of blowing money on pickups, unless it's something you can't fix any other way, like you're going to play outdoors and it might rain (EMGs for me; I have enough to do a P, J, or PJ in my junk box and a BTC somewhere in there too).
"I ask Leo 'Why does one sound different than the other?' And he goes, 'It's mostly the resonance of the wood....I can't tell God how to grow a tree.'" --John K