This thing will go anywhere. The short wheel base and high clearance make it ideal off road. It never ceased to amaze me. I got it stuck once - I took it down a snowmobile trail in the winter, and when I tried to turn around I got one wheel off the groomed trail into three feet of powder. Three minutes with a come-along, and I was back in business.
I've put a lot of miles on it and I'm sorry to see it go, but the current transmission and engine are both getting weak. The engine has 290,000 km on it so it owes me nothing (the first one went at 190,000 and I replaced it with a used one). The transmission, on the other hand, is a weak point. It was rebuilt at 129,000 kn, and replaced with a used one at 300,000 km. I'd recommend the manual gearbox.
The transfer case is the pushbutton type and has performed flawlessly. The hubs are the automatic hubs and have never been a problem.
One thing to watch for in this vehicle is rust inside the rear door, beside the tail lights. The rear wheels throw stuff up there, and cause it to rust out at that spot, and when it does, the floor sags in the cargo area, and the walls actually sag with it. It's a little hard to describe, but the result is that the back door gets misaligned and becomes a problem to open and close.
The rear drive shaft is also a weak point, and can be expensive to replace. They used CV joints not u-joints because of the steep angle, and they are integral to the drive shaft. This means when they go, you have to replace the whole thing. Even used ones go for over $100, and a new one is worth more than the truck.
I don't want to leave the wrong impression with all this talk about its weak points. When you drive it as much as I did, you learn those weaknesses. The strength is it's unbelievable off road abilities. We literally used this thing to pull 20' pine trees out of the ground this summer, and drove it down miles of trails that had only been traveled by ATVs. The week I bought it I took it up a hill in a gravel pit so steep I couldn't see anything out the windshield, but sky. It was a great little toy, and I'm going to miss it.