(Trying to get my post count up, so splitting this into multiple posts)
Like just about everyone with my use-case, I was strongly considering a 4x4 Sprinter, but the high cost, long wait times, new model woes of the 2019s, and solely-diesel engines pushed me away from the Sprinter. Promaster was out due to the horrid clearance at the rear axle, and NV was out because it is too ugly to consider (can't spell vanity without VAN!).
Enter the Transit. It's not perfect by any means, but strikes the best balance for my needs. I wanted a gas motor to deal with cold weather issues from diesel gelling and not deal with DEF/DPF costs and complexity. Ironically, diesel gelling was only an issue for me in California, but not in British Colombia in the dead of winter. Also the ability to convert the Transit to a true 4x4 appeals to me more than the Sprinter's weird/computer controlled AWD-ish system. I've already scheduled a conversion with QuadVan this fall.