My new 2004 GX470
Thanks to all who helped me with various comments and bits of advice during my vehicle search for a 4Runner or GX over the last few months. Although I came close to buying a couple of 4Runners, I'm glad I held out for a nice GX, which stemmed from the time I got to test drive one of each back to back at a used car lot a couple of months ago. The difference was staggering (comfort, seating condition, noise, performance). Sure I wish the GX had a hatch like a 4Runner but overall I feel the GX is a nicer vehicle to drive.
Now sitting in my driveway with my plates on it is a 2004 GX470 in ash blue mica color. Bought it from the second owner and it's in nice condition. Nice to have a Toyota/Lexus truck-frame 4x4 again. I look forward to owning, driving and looking after this "wolf in sheep's clothing" over the next few (many?) years. Mine had the rear air suspension replaced with coils and shocks a couple of years ago, so that maintenance has been simplified.
I won't be doing a major build as several people here carry out, I plan on using it relatively stock, mostly road and marginal road use (no offroading). First point of order will be to put the two jumper seats in the rear into my shed, and try to remove accumulated dust and dirt underneath (previous owner lived on a dirt road).
Look forward to exchanging information with some of you about these great vehicles, and getting advice on things I'll discover about mine.