I'd go Chevy, then Dodge, and never Ford. My stepdad is a transmission mechanic. He sees A LOT of Ford trucks come into the shop. He gets a few Dodge's, and only rarely gets a Chevy. Dealing with a transmission issue in a truck like that is going to cost a snap ton of money, trust me. You don't want to go there.
Posted via Mobile Device
I second Riccil0ve- would totally recommend a Chevy as well, if you're willing to consider them.
Check out the 2010 Silverado 2500... Excellent towing vehicle, quiet, good interior sound, has a lot of power(I believe my dad got up to past 80mph in less than 10 seconds while pulling our full size camper, I may be slightly off- don't hold it against me!) and usually they come pre-wired for a goose-neck.
I'm betting you could find one for less than 40k new about now. Average MPG would be about 14-18mpg(depending on if you optimized the fuel lines and the engine with better exhaust pipes).
If you're not interested in towing at all, or just minimally, check out the Chevy Avalanche. They have power, look good, drive excellently and are an all around good pick for a truck, although they lean more into the "crossover SUV" type category, they still have a bed, and 5 seats, and can pull at the bumper if you get the 1/2 ton +, they are NOT wired or capable of pulling a goose-neck though. Again, about 14-16mpg, and if you dual exhaust and optimize the engine and fuel lines you might get a bit better than that.
Hope that helps a bit.