Two great big factors that you did not mention:
What size are your tires? (Stock was 245-75-16, I run 235-75-15)
What is your axle(s) gear ratio? You can find that on the door jamb sticker.
97 = 4.10 open
F7 = 4.10 limited slip < most desirable
96 = 3.73 open
F6 = 3.73 limited slip
Here's a good guideline: Gear Ratio Guide For Larger Tires
In my case, I recognized that the tall OEM tires were heavy and taller than I needed. I made the tire size smaller and it runs great with usable power in every gear and plenty of pep in the mountains, although i still have to downshift to 4th for most grades or I drop speed. It's not unusual to hit 70 in third gear climbing mountains, but 4th is usually enough most of the time. I don't even bother with 5th gear around town, unless I'm over 55-60 mph.
My guess is that you have 3.73 gears. The cheapest cure will be shorter tires. 29" works great with my 4.10 gears. If you have 3.73 gears, you might go to a 28" tire, like a 235-65-16. There is a good selection in that size.
The downside is that your speedometer will be off.
To give you some perspective, if I am driving around in hilly terrain (SW Pa mountains where my mother lives), I don't typically get into 4th gear unless I'm over 40mph. I keep the tachometer around 3000 if I am climbing any type of hill, switching to the gear that keeps my rpms in that area. Any lower and it won't accelerate well uphill, just the nature of a rev-loving small V-6 pulling a relatively heavy 4wd truck.