Are you kidding me?!
I'm sorry, but you guys are absolute twits recommending someone to go with the modern crap over the older/simpler/better.
I have the 'tractor engine' simple 7.3 idi in my '92 manual 4WD F-350 - i haul stuff all the time on windy steep roads under 1k ft altitude and it gets 17 to 18 mpg without even trying/'im often pushing it up the hills. This is amazing for a 1 ton truck IMHO; the damn thing weighs 10,500+ lbs EMPTY. And it is bone stock, non turbo. Then add the value points of: no smog (CA-pre'98), cheap parts (glow plugs/injectors etc) that are simple to replace, NO COMPUTER...and its pretty self evident. Maybe i've just got an exceptional example that rolled off the assembly line, but I don't think it's that simple. To me, simplicity trumps complexity every time. And when I talk to late-model Duramax owners that are fighting to get anything over 15-16, I don't understand why anyone would want a modern 'smogged-out' computerized diesel; it sort of defeats the purpose. And maybe some of you guys need to drive these trucks like trucks, not sports cars. Typical misuse of power: guys with hot trucks thrash their power & drivetrains, & guys with hot cars end up wrapping themselves around trees, or worse...but i digress. KEEP IT SIMPLE, PEOPLE.