Certified would be good, but most vehicles I'm researching are either too old or with higher miles. But you never know...
I'd prefer a PreRunner: right stance but a 4X2. In the Northeast, mostly 4X4s for the winter months. The Toyota dealers here can't even order PreRunners. Closest is Maryland I'm told. So I have used broad Searches on Use Car websites to draw in the PreRunners into the mix. That said, 4x4 for the winter isn't a bad thing, but I'm after better FE than the V6s are delivering.
So, I've concentrated most of my looking on I4s 2004 and older. I think that the 2nd gen appeals to me when it comes to the bed configuration as it looks like a 4x8 sheet of ply will slide between the rear wheel wells. Looks of either generation work for me, but I suppose the 2005 and newer Tacomas offer a little more elbow room. But my family is still small, so the 1st gen seems to workout just fine.
I've driven a few 1st gen vehicles of late, V6s and I4s. Power difference is noticable, but not starkly different. Both seem to ride the same: weight is probably pretty even. A couple of the vehicles smell musty inside, so I wonder about leaks in the cabin. I didn't see any noticable staining, but so I thought I'd post here to see what shakes out. So with that said, I'll turn it back over to the Tacoma owners to give some pros/cons about the different generation vehicles.