I had a beautiful 94 2500. I'm convinced it was ripped off cuz it was too nice. In the end I couldn't swing another cummins and didn't actually need a three quarter ton anyway. (that's what I keep telling myself.)
4BT in a half ton ram, IMHO, would be a waist of time and money. You'd better better off with the gear swap. I've had the gears swapped in a few Jeeps. What a world of difference. Plus if your diff is open like mine, that's a good time to throw a limited slip diff in there.
I've been looking at the ford supercrew trucks as now when my girlfriend and I go anywhere with our kids, the excab is a bit small for the six of us. Well, it's good for me but the kids in the back think they need more room. My GF has an '04 quadcab. Nice truck, wonderful hemi. Bad wiring and tranny issues.
Oh and if you don't want to actually spend the time and money on a new dash, a Dashmat Ultimat fits really really nice and looks good for a bunch cheaper than one of those cap deals.
Hey, have you ever driven along on a really cold morning with the radio off and listened to the dash crack?
Dodge used that same plastic for like eight years?