I appreciate your view on the smoke issue. I have taken Diesels 4x4ing and honestly, I'd rather have a lighter truck that shares common fuel with fellow 4x4ers. The weight of the diesel engine on the front, creates much more downforce when dropping the truck off rucks, ruts and such and can cause a lot of damage that a lighter gas engine would not. If you want a solid front axel, then go with a 2500 with a HEMI, although you'll likely be into the single digits for fuel mileage at times. In the Military, we had both Diesel and Gasoline trucks, and for 4x4ing, the Gas trucks were prefered 9/10 of the time.
If you are buying a diesel for economy, you will need to find a DPF-Deleted truck, or an older 5.9 preDPF generation truck. I just got back from a trip where a buddy ran the same truck as me, but 4th Gen, and I could not believe how much fuel he burned through. You can thank the environuts for that one. Towing a 5000lb trailer, he blew off 3/4 of a tank in 250kms! I tow my travel trailer (4500lb dry, 6000lb max) and can easily make Red Deer from Fort Mac on 3/4 of a tank.