I am one of those that will truly mourn the day I have to get rid of my Explorer (though my wife will not). I love the styling. I still love driving it. Perfect size in my opinion. When we drive into Boston, we prefer to take it due to relatively small size, curb hoping ability, age, and slow speed manueverability. I used to do a lot of off road and beach driving with it. Sure, it's had its issues. Only 1 transmission rebuild in 320k miles. Original AC compressor is shot, fan motor is intermittent, 2 power windows dead. All in all, better then I would expect a car with 18 years and 320k miles would do. I have newer and 'nicer' cars, but this is still my favorite to drive everyday.
Simple interior. Classic truck styling. Relatively smooth ride compared to even the more modern SUVs out there. Push button 4wd is so very nice. Great interior space. Been fairly reliable. Most failures now are due to metal rot (brake lines, transmission cooling, etc) from old age and winter salt.
It does lack power compared to modern day equivalents. Nice torque however and does a good job towing. At this age, biggest problem is the front hubs on 4wd models. There is a small plastic washer that wears out and you can't buy one from Ford. You either have to make one yourself or buy a new hub.