I have had 3 Toyota pickups, an '89, '99 (my all time favorite) and now an '01. The '01 is great in the snow, reliable as can be, and easy to drive. The four cylinder is underpowered, and as some people have mentioned, the gears need some adjustment. I would never discourage anyone from buying anything Toyota, but like everything out there, if you take care of it, it will take care of you.
Build quality, hands down.
Sound proofing, I can hear everything from the road outside. Not much you can do about this on an old model. Watch out for rusting too.
I live in northeast Ohio and the winters are bad here. My driveway is straight uphill so I need 4wd to get up it. I had a full sized Chevy 4wd but that truck was old and tired and didn't owe anybody anything. My buddy had a 99 Tacoma and I liked it so I bought mine. I only had a few problems 3 bumpers (the clearcoat peels off and rusts), power steering pump went out and catalytic converters rotted out, otherwise a great truck. I only have about 53,000 miles on it. I can beat on this truck and it asks for more.
Separate shifter for 4wd, no turn knob on dash, smooth shifting 5 speed, great in mud and snow, 16s and white gauges from the factory.
This truck was a graduation gift from my parents and they couldn't have made a better choice. I have owned a 91 and 93 toyota tacoma, both 4x4, and they have become my favorite trucks. I drive my truck hard, using the 4X4 on a regular basis and I have yet to have a problem. The off-road capability is unmatched by anything I have come across yet. It is a simple truck that can't be beat!