Congratulations on your pickup purchase! I know how you feel, I had two Tacomas before I got my 2002 Ranger and I like my Ranger better. I had an'03 prerunner tacoma with a 4 banger and then an '04 with the 3.4 liter 6 cylinder. They were both extended cab. The 4 banger got me almost 23mpg and the 6 banger got me 21.5 on average. This was the last year before the tacoma was redesigned and made larger and I don't really like the newer model.
I bought mine in April 2010 for $4200 with around 140,000+miles on it but it has the 4.0 liter engine and it is extended cab with 4 doors which I don't thing toyota offered that in their tacomas until 2005 with the new design. I did like my tacomas but the v6 uses a timing belt while ford uses timing chains.
Also, tacomas are expensive and toyota has had about as many problems with their vehicles as anyone. With my 4.0, I am getting almost 20mpg with the auto but I don't hot rod it. I wanted to get a stick but with my wife's knee acting up it would not be good for her.
Sorry about the length of the reply but like you, I am thrilled with my pickup also. Send me an email since we are almost neighbors as I am in San Marcos. I recently put on the bed armor and I love it!