Bought my 09 new. Now have 17k miles on it. Used it like a truck. So far no problems, not a single one (knock on wood).
I agree that older Toyotas may have been better built. But they were also MUCH more crude than the newer ones. One thing that kept me from getting a first gen was the oh-shit interior. The newer Tacos, while still being plastic fantastic, have a much nicer interior and much more room. I think the newer ones have a better ride quality also, a lot of people remark at how my truck rides/drives like a car.
On balance, I am happy with the newer one.