I've had a bunch of Tacomas over the years (99 4x4(new), 2001 4x4(used), 2006 4x4(new), 99 2x4(used). I did not like the new size of the 2006. It had plenty of power, but performed like crap off road, and drove like a fullsize on road. The older you go, the more chance of problems, but I currently have a 99, and will be buying a 2004 4x4 soon. I blew out the torque converter in my first 99, but suspect it was just a faulty unit, was replaced under warranty, and is a very uncommon problem. Zero problems with the 2001&2006. Replaced the axle carrier bearing in the 99 2wd, as well as front shocks, and the front springs need replacing, but those are totally to be expected in a 13 year old truck. I currently have a 2010 Colorado 4x4, but will be selling it soon, to be replaced with a 2004 4x4.
Go with the Tacoma. If you want a very smooth ride, with all the bells and whistles, and don't mind a big truck, go with the new style, 2005+.
If you want a nimble truck that can tear it up off road, and still perform well on road, go with pre 2005
1999 Tacoma v6 Prerunner. Full body Line-X treatment. NGK Iridium plugs, Auto-Rx treatment, Spectre intake, Custom seats, with custom brackets. Bluetooth enabled stereo.