Hello from Sonoma County, CA. I recently picked up a stock 2000 Ranger 4x4, 4.0, AT, Off-Road package, Supercab -- with 75,000 miles. It replaces a 1979 Jeep CJ5 V8 that I had for two years and put some time and money into during my "I want a project" phase. Luckily, I managed to sell it for about what I had into it -- and bought the Ranger for less!
I liked the CJ and the community associated with older Jeeps, but it was time for something a bit more user friendly but sill forest trail capable -- that could double as a reliable commuter, if needed. I'm sure the Ranger has its quirks too, but it looks like only minor things at this point (touch-up paint, slip yoke lube, front bumper valance, busted center console, and possibly a new oil pressure sending unit).