I don't think nissan's are bad vehicles, they are very popular down under in oz.
I think it's the lack of aftermarket support that tends to put more people in toyota's and suzuki's.
How many lift kits or lockers are available for nissans?
They're not bad vehicles. In stock form they're equivalent to an IFS Toyota, but like dp says, theres literally no aftermarket support for them.
They can be modified, there are a couple small companies that have made a few lifts for the Nissan, and if you know the tricks of what other Nissan parts fit you can change the gears and find limited slips for them. 70's Datsun pickups came with 4.375 rear gears and they bolt in. The rearends from the independant rear supsension Datsun cars bolt into the front and some of the 240's and 260's came with limited slips.
Just dont break it at Moab and try to find gears or axleshafts.
Buddy has a 89, been an awesome reliable truck for him.. and it is quite capable. It has a bodylift on 31in ATs, and does pretty good on the trails. But some things to look out for, rust!.. take the back seats up and pull the carpet back and look for floor rust.. also if it has a rear tailgate.. it most likely will rust where it is bolted to the body.. Personally.. if you've got a the coin to shell out for a pathfinder.. buy a 4runner.. cheaper parts.. and more aftermarket things too..
i have an 89 and totally luv her. the aftermarket parts ARE THERE everyone and the arent hard to find, just expensive. just got back from NB and everyone out there is building pathys up. the best place i found is www.4x4parts.com for pathy needs. Mind you they are pretty capable as stock trucks and take a lot of beating. mine beat out the local 4runners on hillclimbs, rocks and in the mud amazingly in semi stock condition. has over 239000 k's on it and is running great, only a new clutch was needed over all this time. if you want more info shoot me an email. i can tell you cheap and easy mods if ya like.