Whether its solid front axle or IFS, I'm still buying one. I still march up the same obstacles a comparably modded Jeep goes. Throw a front diff lock on a Bronco and I'll go the same places I go with my FJ assuming its the same dimension give or take. A Wrangler is just a very expensive toy. After driving a JK and a JL, I don't get them. Its a vehicle about compromise. I was literally brushing arms with the salesman when we were both using the armrest. You got a vehicle as wide as a FJ with the interior width of a Samurai.
I respect a wrangler as a midlife crisis vehicle you can throw the top off and go play in some rocks, but as an expedition vehicle, it comes up very very short. I'm confident the Bronco will pickup the torch the FJ left behind when it was discontinued. Toyota doesn't want my money because they don't want to build a vehicle in the segment the FJ used to be in. The 4Runner is much too long and way too expensive. I don't know about you guys but I don't want to spend high 40s for a brand new 4Runner then hack it up and wreck the interior because I need it to be an exploration vehicle.
I absolutely agree about the JK / JL. They are really all compromise. I drove the JK 6 speed manual and felt the steering was so numb, didn't offer tactile feedback, almost felt as if you were moving a block of wood to steer. I know it is a SFA, off road focused vehicle, and I haven't driven a JL, but I am thinking it is more of the same. Also, the interior quality / road noise, etc. leaves much to be desired.
I daily my FJ, and it has always been comfortable. Now with the squishy Blizzaks, it rides like a Cadillac. The brakes are excellent, the handling is very good, it really does everything well.
As far as a 4runner or JL, man they are pricey. I drove the 4Runner Trail with KDSS, and thought it was very nice, but 40K? I bought my FJ for 20K, and the new 4Runner is definitely not 2X the vehicle. A JL Wrangler? A Rubicon would be the only one I would consider... 51K? Whaaaaaaat?