Drilled & slotted rotors do help over the stock stuff, as well as a really GOOD quality set of brake pads all the way around the truck. These trucks are dam heavy, gonna take some effort to stop it no matter what you do. If you want the cheaper way out instead of buying 6 piston calipers, rotors and high quality pads, put a diesel truck hydro boost on it. Ther`s a few people around here that have done this with GREAT success...! I think one of the guys are on this forum, so do a search for hydro boost, you might find him. He has a really good right up with pics on how to do it.
The new pads will help some but not much. Also the baer or brembo big brake kits are over $4,000 so they're pricey but they will fit with the 22" R/T wheels and possibly the 20" wheels. Best thing would be lighter wheels(less rolling weight) and a big brake kit with performance pads if you want a big difference in braking distances
The simple upgrades are slotted and drilled/dimpled rotors which will keep biting longer in high demand situations over conventional pads; then new pads, there's lots of good options, the Hawks and EBC greenstuff pads are my recommended pads; the SS braided brake lines as well as there will be less swell in the line as the pressure increases.
If you're serious about upgrading your system though, you need to spend the $$ and get a 15" rotor and 6-8 piston caliper setup. I did my pads, rotors, and brake lines and there was a noticable difference over the stock when stopping my 22s.
I know ever vehicle is different but coming from a sports car, if I upgraded just the pads and lines I got a better brake feel and shorter stopping distance. I owned a subaru sti. most people in those forums agreed that the slotted and drilled rotors and mainly for show unless you are racing your vehicle. I understand the benefits of having slotted or drilled rotors (gets rid of heat better) I also understand the big brake kits. I am not looking for a sports car brakes.. I own a truck. I was just wondering how much of a differance I will get with just upgrading the pads and maybe the lines?? Is it even worth it??
Pads and lines are an absolute must if you want to shorten your stopping distance OR if you upgrade to bigger tires or wheels as you need more braking power than the stock set up since you have a larger rotating mass compared to stock wheels/tires. It's definately worth it, and I agree, the rotors are more for performance/shows, but they are also a big help if you tow anything.
The short answer is yes, it is a worthwhile upgrade, even if it's just pads/lines.
If you can stop hard enough to activate ABS, nothing you change with your brakes is going to make it stop any faster. Bigger brakes are bigger heat sinks, they will last longer before they fade. Not usually an issue on the street.
More aggressive pads will increase 'bite', but are your tires sticky enough to exploit that? They will also deposit brake dust on your wheels faster.
Different pads might provide better feel and initial bite though. Are you sure your brakes are currently working optimally? Glazing or some oil contamination of pads & rotors , air in the system, moisture in your fluid are things you might consider.