I got a 2001 SE with 206,000km, for 4k CAD. that was a steal. i live in a place with a very heavy Toyota tax, and Island tax. I'm with you on the Toyotas. Its not that they aren't fantastic. its that they're twice the price. Where I live, everyone wants an old 4x4. JDM mistubishis, old sidekicks, samurais and trackers, 4runners, land cruisers and occasionallyr xterras. that's it. From what I've seen, everyone wants an old affordable 4x4 that is reliable. The tradeoff there is, when you buy an old toyota from someone who treated it like it was indestructible, you don't know what you're getting into, and what they've done to it.
I think you might wish the xterra had a timing chain on the v6, or the 4cyl option was a little beefier. those were my qualms before purchasing. But I sucked it up, and accepted that I'm going to have to change a timing belt once, then not worry for 5 or so years. So far, they've been a breeze to work on, and there's lots of resources online. other people here could be more vocal about the vehicles long term tendencies. Having owned one for 3 months, I had a few issues (seat belt.... lifetime warranty on 1st gens tho!), solved them myself, with little error, I have absolutely zero regrets. I could turn around and sell this truck for 2k profit, but I can't. not a chance. I'm in love.
as for long distance trips, My weekends are usually 500km if i'm going overnight, very little highway driving, I think it would do fine on a longer road trip. but it defintely doesnt like to go above 120kmh. The low end torque is actually a really nice touch. once i felt that, I was okay passing on the 4cyl 4runners.
hope that helps. sometimes the forums can seem quiet when ppl start new threads.