many 87' and up sbc blocks were roller but most trucks still came with a hyd flat tappet cam until 92-93' when they started making the first vortec sbc's. they were the ones with the swirl port heads, not the 906/062 vortecs that we all know today.
then you go into telling him to go after building a motor that will be pushing out 450-470hp which his 92' firebird wont hold up to very well. the 400hp goal he has is pretty much right where he wants to be unless he wants to start spending big $$$$ on setting the car up to handle it.
take a look at my profile name, My87z, and ask me how i know. that Z doesn't stand for and old datsun or nissan, it stands for Z-28. my most recent build has me running very low 11.0-11.15" and trust me when you exclude the motor i still have well over 10,000 into the car (not including the purchase price)