From all the seven cars I've owned, this is BY FAR my favorite. I've always been a Jeep-a-holic since my Dad restored a CJ5 when I was 10 years old. My Dad and I then restored a CJ7 for me when I was in high school. I loved that CJ7 too. But I decided to sell the CJ7 so we could get a Hummer H1. Since then, I've missed driving around with no doors and no top. Last summer I decided to sell my 2000 Chevy Malibu and buy a 1998 Jeep TJ with the works (lift, bigger tires, aftermarket everything). Needless to say, it was love at first drive.
The Jeep TJ drove surprisingly well for the lift and bigger tires. Cruising down the back roads at 55mph, there is no fighting or wondering with the steering (unlike the CJ). On the freeway, it drives straight and smooth. The top can get a little annoying, but Jeep came out with a "Sailcloth" soft top that is much thicker than the denim style and much quieter. The Jeep starts up every time, no leaks, every button works, and it turns heads every where. Not to mention it has the capability to go any where at any time. Last winter we had a big snow storm (15 inches), and I was the only one in the parking lot who could get out with no problem. I was parking on top of snow piles and driving around every where just trying to get stuck, no luck.
The gas mileage does suck, but the feeling of having no top or doors on a beautiful day, turning heads and getting the Jeep wave, and the fact knowing that tomorrows snow storm will never stop you from going to work, over compensates the 14mpg. Although when gas did hit $4/gallon and I'm in college, I bought a cheap metro to get me around from work and school. I now use the jeep as a weekend warrior and a campus cruiser.
If you buy a Jeep and realize that every car has it problems, you will not be disappointed!