Okay. Here goes. First off, for the people that respond to these posts, why can't you just type a few words of your personal experiences with the specific vehicles in question? Things like, "stay away", "look for a gasser", those are conclusions to be formulated by the OP after we all explain our experiences.
To the OP. I purchased my 2004, F250 6.0 SD 4x4 in 2008. Negotiated purchase price was $16,000 with under 50,000 miles on it. The truck now has 75,000 miles on it, pulls my 5er just fine and IF I happen to have problems in the future, the savings from purchase price will go into a maintenance fund.
I own both the gas and diesel engines (not vehicle) in question.
And I have one of the highest RELIABLE mileage ones out there.
My post on these two vehicles are based on personal experience --- including hearing all the alleged woes and whinning.
I achieved reliability with my vehicle with a little less than $3,000 in repairs and tweaks at 250,000 miles or thereabouts on the 6.0, and is now at 275,000 miles.
Current significant repairs pending (some new harnesses as I am getting an intermittent issue that has happened ONCE).
Factory original Injectors, Turbo, HPFP, head bolts, head gasket, FICM, etc.
I spent a lot of time reading on the Powerstroke.org forms,before I bought my truck. Lots of info on the 6lt, lots of reoccuring problems,EGR and Oil cooler problems. Having said that, I like my Ford truck.As was stated, maintnance is a good part of the key to good service,I've never belived in breakdown maintenance. As the old saying goes( you can pay me a little now or a lot latter)
As to FICM in my truck,,hard starting when cold,and low and fluctuating voltage in the FICM,
My '05' 6.0, that I purchased new, now has 73,000 on it. It is used almost exclusively to tow our 30' fiver. Before that in 1996 I bought a new F250, 7.3L and put a tad over 200,000 miles on it.
So far our 6.0 has not cost us any more in repairs than our 7.3 did at the same milage. I have had some warranty work done on the 6.0, tho. The rear engine oil seal has been replaced and the turbine was replaced, both under warranty.
I am planning on keeping this '06' for a few more years. It is all stock. I especially like the power, the automatic transmission and the boss trailer braking system on my '06'. I don't especially like the two fuel filter system as the one under the truck mounted on the frame is VERY MESSY to replace.
'05' F-250 Power Stroke
'00' 30' Cameo Fifth Wheel
To the OP,,,,It's your money, your truck. If you are going to upgrade,get something YOU like,, and are happy and comfortable to drive. There are lots of vehicles out there that will tow a 5th just fine. Get what you want.