To maintain the factory type of ride and handling, the KYB is where you want to go. These are a basic direct OE replacement of what came as standard on your vehicle. If possible, get them as a "quickstrut" setup that comes with new springs and strut tops and you'll eliminate any kind of issue that can be expected if you don't replace all of those parts.
If you don't decide to do the above, you will ALWAYS want to change the strut tops for sure. As for the expense, it's absolutely worth it because it simply eliminates the possibility of an issue that can come up 2K or 20K later by using the old parts, but it will come up with clunking, rattling, and looseness in the front steering. Because you will need an alignment after replacing the struts, if it decides to rear it's ugly head at 2K, then you've wasted the money.
You should also do a thorough inspection of lower control arm bushings and sway bar end links and clamp bushings. These parts can also cause suspension noise and looseness and are easily changed. To not inspect them and find out 5K after you've done the struts, is, again, wasted money on the alignment and labor because you'll need to do all of these things again.
In the case of the lower control arm bushings, your absolute best bet IS to use a performance part as the Subaru stock pieces (affectionately known as "tennis balls") are not good. Whiteline makes the best option for the LCA bushings and is definitely worth the money and time to install. They will eliminate clunks and vague steering feel and tire wear as well as giving additional adjustment for alignment in the caster department.
Sway bar end links and clamp bushings can be changed without affecting alignment and are fairly easily done if you've some mechanical ability. If you are tight on budget, you can wait for a bit after the installation of the struts/shocks but remember that these can make noise if they're bad and if the struts and shocks are bad, chances are good that these are also on their way out. Moog endlinks are a good replacement for both the front and rear sway bars and are readily available at a plethora of automotive parts stores. Clamp bushings are available too, but again, in this case, it's better to use a performance (polyurethane) part as they will last substantially longer and your car will be improved drastically in handling and overall feel. Plus, the polyurethane bushings (available from a number of sources-Prothane, Energy Suspension, Whiteline, AVO, and others-you simply measure the diameter of the sway bar and find a high performance/speed shop and they should have something that would fit) are generally less expensive than the OE Subaru bushings.
Don't forget the rear sway bar for the bushings and end links too. These can easily generate clunking noise and rattles that are very difficult to find as they echo throughout the car and can sound like they're coming from anywhere and everywhere.
These part replacements and alignment will make your car better than it was when it was new and not break the bank. The LCA bushings are VERY important because if they fail, they can cause a crash. If you can find the KYB as quickstruts, it saves a LOT of time and grief in installation, especially if you're doing it yourself AND it brings all of the spring rates back to new and stock.