First, I want a diesel. They run forever- to the tune of 250-500k miles when maintained. The fuel is more stable and stores longer (up to 10 years with treatment). The fuel is less likely to run out compared to gas. I can also burn vegetable oil and heating oil for fuel. They are generally strong enough to pull a good sized trailer (more on that later).
Second, it has to be reliable. After reading all about how crappy Ford's diesels are, I've nearly decided against them (I did find a nice 2005 F350 that otherwise meets my criteria). Most websites put the Dodge Cummins at the top of the list, with GM's Duramax in second. As far as reliably, that includes fixability. From what I've read, that also puts Ford out of the running. Fixability also includes finding parts. My understanding is that there are way more Dodge diesels out there on the road and junkyards hands down.
That puts the Dodge Diesels out in the lead.
For me, if I'm going to have a truck, it has got to be a 4x4. In a SHTF situation, I want it.
I also have a largish family with three kids (is that large?) That means I need room in the back for them. That means I want a 4 door.
Next, I want big bumpers for safely bashing other cars out of the way in a SHTF situation. I also need a place to mount my Warn winch (it's on my Heep right now).
I also want a tool box and a bedliner.
Finally, it's got to be in my price range. I don't want to spend any more that $14,000.
I'd prefer a different color, but my criteria is very specific. This might get the job done. (I would add off-road lights and a CB/HAM radio).