I come from the old school, trucks are suppose to be work horses, not pretty candy ass "don't scratch my bed" rig.
Before my last truck I had a 66 Ford Custom cab, rubber floor mat, manual trans, manual windows, no ac and manual steering. Called her Louis, great truck. Bought her used for $1100.00, drove 110,000 miles over 10 years as a daily driver, sold $1400.00.
I replaced her with a new model year 2000 2500 Cummins Quad Cab. Manual windows, rubber floor mats and manual trans with limited slip. What a workhorse, first weekend I figured I'd get over the newness and took it out on the Black Rock playa, for the dust, drove up some trails and for some Nevada pin stripping from sage brush :-)
Next weekend loaded the bed with firewood, got the dings/scratches out of the way.
She is going on 18 years old and me at 63 this should easily be my last truck. Other than couple minor issues, the body/chassis/drive train is stought.
Now I just want the paint to get more weathered and get that old age patina going. I'll have a rig to cherrish.
Getting back to the topic of this thread, diesels are hard to beat for hauling heavy loads long distances. I've towed my 10,000 lbs boat and trailer up and down Donner Summit for 13 years now. Never a heat issue or hicup - just tugs the load up the hill without breaking a sweat.