Did the same you are talking about here no less than about 45 days ago.
I had an o5 TRD QC w/ the 6 speed manual transmission:
( which I drove 1K miles to pickup ) and had that for a number of years before I finally grew tired of the manual shifting all the time. Overall it was a GREAT rig, we went all over the place in that thing.
I rode in a buddy's Audi and said hot dog, got to have one of those things. I ended up trading off the TRD and picked up 2oo4 2.7TT Audi A6 S-Line:
Like you, we also had a small ute, a o3 ZR2 Blazer which I had thought I'd be able to use w/ the 18' tandem tilt trailer we have but it just was not the case. It was great for hauling things, but a GREAT BIG PITA
when it came time to actually using it with the trailer. It was more or less just having to hook up the trailer, get it to where it needed to go, and dealing with it that I became frustrated with.
Dont forget, when its not attached to your truck, its got to be stored somewhere. This became sorta a hassle when I was looking to buy a house; I needed to be sure that there was enough space to park it as I didnt really want to sell it. I didnt have a pickup, wanted to use it for the pickup replacement if you will, and knew that with the car habit I have that it was going to come in handy for many many years. Plus, I got one hell of a deal on it.
Here is when I moved from WA to the MidWest:
( yes, that is a 88 Fiero GT w/ a spare 4.6L Northstar along with another one mounted in the car )
Due to the hassle that I was having with trying to do anything around the house ( Im doing alot of re-modeling )
, the desire to get back into the Tacoma was really starting to bug me. The wife and I have been discussing it for about a year, and finally I came to the conclusion that I was getting to a point w/ the S-Line that I was going to really put some $$ into it, and drive the wheels off, or I was going to sell it and be done with it.
The decision to downsize the fleet was made so the ZR2 and the Audi were to be replaced with a 2o11 TRD Tacoma, yes with an automatic transmission.
So, in alot of ways you are in the same situation that I was in... have a nice car, like the nice car, but want / need something a bit better suited for the things that you are into. I will say that I do infact miss the feeling from the pull of a set of turbo's, but in the long run the ownership of a Tacoma betters fits my lifestyle.
I am more comfortable in the Tacoma, will be getting more use out of it than the Audi and the ZR2, and I don't have to worry about not having the space to throw things into the bed of the truck. While you'd be surprised at the things that you can strap to the roof of a ZR2, its not pleasant nor something I'd prefer to do again.
Being that you have the drive to contend with, this is something that you will have to seriously consider as your going to realistically get about 21 - 22 MPG /w the truck ( @ about 55 mph
) as per the 3o+ that you get with the GTi. If this is going to cause a potential financial hardship might want to reconsider it and rent / borrow a rig when it comes time to needing one.
Hope that helps, and oh yea - talk about one hell of a first post!