2007 Nissan Xterra Off-Road 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)
This car is not perfect, but even a Lexus GX470 ($$$) has flaws. For less than $30,000, you get excellent acceleration, amazing handling, lots of space, good visibility, 8 airbags, ABS, the best stereo in class (Car&Driver, and my opinion), excellent off-road ability, 4 skid plates, 4WD, 5 speed auto, smooth and quiet highway ride, and many other not- so-visible features. It is really a joy to own this SUV, from going to the grocery store, to doing multi-day camping trips.
My favorites are listed above, but here are some more: very comfy seats, the roof-top compartment (for storing tow straps, snow shovel...), excellent brakes, rubber mats, wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, lots of storage...
I also dislike that the truck bottoms out when I go over speed bumps. I think this is due to the Bilstein shocks, which give you incredible control off-road, but I guess you sacrifice something in return. I wish that the truck had an outside temperature gauge. Sport shift would be nice.