I've owned my 02 Dakota SLT Plus 4.7L V8 Manual now for about 2 months. I've enjoyed every minute of driving it and using it like the truck it is. I've taken a few trips already with it and enjoyed the comfort of the seats and ride quality. The 4.7L V8 has enough power to propel me down the road with enough force to pass a few cars and merge onto the beltways and freeways.
My favorite feature has got to be the styling. It's got the sporty look without sacrificing aggressiveness and curb appeal. The 4.7L V8 is a joy to run. It pushes my 2WD down the road with authority.
I would suggest to push up the horsepower on all the engines equally and then increase fuel economy (if that can be done together.) Other then that there's not much that needs improvements.