I bought my truck new for about $13,000. The only "upgrade" that it has is the color keyed body moldings. Minor repair work has needed to be done before 18,000 miles....squeaking front bumper and already had to replace the 3 belts in this little 4-banger due to squeeking. Other than that it is rock solid. It takes a while to get used to the look of the "rubbermaid" front end, but a simple grill insert improved the looks and protected my radiator. Use it to commute to work (2.2 miles) and average 23MPG w/o the AC. On the highway I have got as high as 28MPG. Great fuel economy in town even compared to some mid-sized sedans, plus you can't haul a sheet of plywood in a sedan.
Fuel Economy (for a truck) Styling Bucket seats even in the economy line
Better OEM Tires (General tires, come on) More power in lower gears (I wouldn't try to drive an auto). More power with AC on, so you don't have to use the AC button as a "turbo" button (I.e. turn it off when you need power).