You are assuming that the Dodge will get better fuel economy, correct? Well, Autoblog and other reputable automobile news companies got over 20 mpg during a long test drive of the new Ford diesel. Some of the test drivers got in the mid to high 20s by driving wisely.
And why GM for the gas? The new Ford gas engine will be more powerful, supposedly will be significantly more fuel efficient than the current 5.4l, and will use the same transmission as the Ford diesel will; the GM gas model will still use the hydramatic, not the Allison.
The base Ford super duty truck will be more expensive than the current one, but the upgrade to diesel is supposed to be the same.
If you must know, he's my low-down! It's a long read:
Dodge for the diesel, not for fuel economy. First off I'll get fuel economy out right now. People who buy a HD truck for WORK and expect excellent mileage are idiots, sorry but for those that I offended, it's true. Ask the military guys, Because an Abrams gets 0.25mpg instead of 1mpg flat they'd rather drive a humvee into a hot zone. I think not, you buy what you need, and you pay for it and suck up the expense. Yes, that was a bit 'out there' but it's the best and easiest way I can explain the importance of a work truck's fuel economy!
Now, I'd go with the Dodge diesel because I prefer the I6 design. True, a V8 can last as long, but as far as maintenance and down time go as if I buy ANY vehicle, I buy it and keep it for as long as possible, and the Dodge rules them all on maintenance. Head gasket, only one, versus two on a V8, not to mention more moving parts, and turbo's that are set in the V which require an hours labour just to gain access to them. Not worth it when the time comes to replace parts, that's why I choose the Dodge I6.
Ford can bring what they want to the table. The 5.4L has it's share of problems over the years with heads, plugs, manifolds, coils, etc. Granted, getting a sour one is still few and far between, but when I can have more HP in a lighter truck for the same price, not to mention one with better long term reliability and one that makes a better overall daily driver, I'll take it.
The Ram HD HEMI is good in it's own right. But I'm mad at Dodge here that they skimped out on the details. 16 spark plugs in a V8 is more things to worry about, not to mention the fact they built the 6.1L HEMI with a thicker crank, and several other mentionable upgrades so as to sustain higher RPM for longer intervals (hence, high performance). The 5.7L HEMI wasn't given these upgrades, which means it'll have more mechanical trouble as the miles pile on. I currently own a Durango R/T and am on various Dodge forums. The 5.7 is a good engine overall, but I'd place it behind the Ford 5.4L, and especially the new 6.2L in this case as far as build and quality go. The transmission is the other weak part here. Dodge upgraded driveline components from axles to u-joints and they still use the same 10 year old 5 speed automatic with a 3:1 first gear.
Now I get to the GM 6.0L V8. GM trucks are the smoothest riders, and with the gas engine it offers the highest payload capacity and comes with a 6 speed auto with a low first gear. Maintenance is easy to accomplish as well as it has some of the longest intervals in it's class.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal choice and what works for a specific application. As I mentioned, The Dodge for diesel or the GM for gas is my pick of the litter, because they're the best bang for the buck trucks on the market in their respective class. Ford will obviously overprice it's 6.2L V8 truck for the first year, and I'm sure they'll have some minor problems to deal with as far as quality goes as is the same with almost all first year products irregardless of manufacturer. GM will overprice their '11 HD series for the first year I imagine as well. This will boost Dodge's sales for the '11-12 model years until the Dodge boys do another redesign to better compete with Ford and GM.
Don't forget that Toyota wants to enter the HD segment soon as well. If they do, I'm sure they'll prove to be worthy competition. However, if a HD Tundra does go on the market with the current 5.7L V8, I wouldn't buy it with that engine. Why? Because it's too advanced for the times and fixing it is a labour intensive nightmare for the pocketbook. Timing chain you say? Fork over a couple grand. Valve job? Better to buy a new(er) engine block and have it installed.
Today's newer trucks are becoming too advanced for the times. Sure, they can do the work, but the parts built by the lowest bidder is getting more and more troublesome, for both manufacturers and for consumers. Manufacturers can't help it much only because the government has control over some of the parts and manufacturing processes allowing a higher profit for a lower quality product. Not in all cases, sure, but it's a growing concern.
Even on this site, I read a lot about people who have bought a new truck in the last 2-3 years and are willing to take a huge financial hit and trade it in for another new vehicle because they've had a raft of problems with it and just can't deal with it. Sad to say but chances are they won't have much luck with a new truck, and that's a hard sell to someone who HAS to have the best and latest equipment on the market, as it's not always the best thing to do.
I believe in strong maintenance procedures and adhering to the appropriate schedule for vehicle service. I currently own a Ford car, Dodge SUV and a GM car and have had minor problems with them all. From a faulty seat belt return spring (Ford Taurus) to stitching coming off the rear seat (Pontiac G6) when it was only two months old. My Dodge has had similar problems but I've worked it so hard that I'm shocked it still steers in a straight line without much assistance on my part.
This is the other reason I chose the GM, over Ford or Dodge. Ford HD weighs too much, Dodge needs to get their gas engine gearing in check and the GM is the only HD that makes sense with the gas engine. For the price, it also makes it hard to beat at least until the '11 models come out this fall. Then, the game changes again!