We had this truck for 12 years. I loved it so much. I finally decided to start doing performance upgrades on when I got back from Iraq in January with dual exhaust (Flowmasters) and a K&N Cold Air Intake. Unbeleivable and noticeable changes were felt. Gas milage is what is expected but sure as hell doesn't seem as bad as what is on paper. The interior is a little boring but add-on possibilities are endless. The seats are large and comfortable. Very reliable. Was rear ended 3 times in 12 years, the most recent (2 weeks ago) totalled it, thanks to F250 flying into me going 50 mph while we were stopped for traffic with my newly adopted 7 month old daughter in the back. We were all ok though.
Great reliable drivetrain. Very comfortable ride and seats. Just looks awesome, like a beast, when well kept.
At least go with the next size bigger tires but you can keep the stock wheels. Just that little bit makes a noticeable difference in ride height. Would recommend staying away from the tailgate versions, get the rear double door types. The interior (cockpit) is just too boring but ok for 1997 I geuss.