Welcome! 'round these parts the recommendations tend to be either go old and get a 98-99 with rear locker (then add a front locker), or go 2003+ to get the 5 speed transmission. And still add the front locker
IMO getting the right driveline trumps electronics... heck these things still have tape decks. But the 5speed is a +3mpg upgrade most likely, maybe even 5.. big difference between 17 and 12. Just my 2 cents, good luck with the search! will post up if I run across a nice one.