I think I would go for a older style quad cab Dakota. If you like those.
I have driven all the vehicles in the year ranges you are asking about. The older Dakota's are comfortable, extremely practical for a truck, and pretty good looking. The 4.7L auto was faster than the 5.9 Dakota R/T in the 1/4 mile according to (car and driver magazine??) They Tow pretty good, handle great for a truck, and have enough bed space for "most" of the things you would need to haul.
Now for the Liberty. They are solid vehicles, but I don't feel real comfortable in them. I don't like the interior layout. Chicks and Greasemonkeys seem to like them though. I just feel like I'm sitting on a milkcrate while driving them. The Dakota feels more like you are sitting on the floor and can stretch out a bit. I drove a 3.7l auto for a couple of weeks and could not crack 20mpg with it. It was in the 19.6 range babying it to Indiana and back. The diesels are great on fuel, but I'd be leary of long term issues you might run into with one.
Either choice is good, but I'm a fan of the quad cabs. As a matter of fact that might be my next vehicle after my Ram.
Last edited by Monster4.0; October 18th, 2007 at 12:23 PM.