Couldn't agree with you more on the gas! I'd do the exact same thing. I almost ended up with a F250 w/7.3 a couple days ago, awesome truck if you need the capability, would be perfect with some 34-35 tires and no need to susp upgrades.Correct, I thought you were comparing a standard 200 series cruiser to the bit domestic flatbed/FWC creations. My fault. I haven't followed this whole thread. Sorry for the confusion.
I agree with you, given the choice between the two vehicles you pictured I'd go with the domestic but I'd go with a gas motor for simplicity. An E or F series chassis cab with the 7.3l gas would be my chosen starting point.