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I've noticed recently how crap standard brakes are on the 172. I don't feel safe when it's wet to be honest!! I need to upgrade them. Any recommendations. I don't really want to spend a grand, so prob 4-500 quid max!!
You could try upgrading the pads all round first, with some decent fast road pads like the Mintex M1144 compound or Pagid fast road etc...
Fit steel braided brake lines at the same time and change the fluid too.
If you bed the pads in correctly, you should notice a marked improvement over the OE stoppers.
If you're feeling flush (£4-500 should easily buy these too), go for some high quality cross drilled or grooved front discs, depending on how much noise you want and how long you want your pads to last.
This will give you a very nice and competent fast road brake set up.