New tacoma owner (2002 well, pretty new), but I have been salivating over them for a while now, stock vehicle but looking to beef up my truck.
I am mechanically challenged and not so knowlegable about mods so bear with me.
I pretty much just use the truck for utility purposes...I do landscaping but, I definetly want to do a little off road stuff, The truck is my daily driver so, I can't get too crazy with the big wheels and lifts yet, But I plan on it in the future, I live in southern CT so I am not sure about any offroad places to go, (its really developed around here and the wooded areas are marked no trespassing) also my lack of offroading experience plays a big part, I have seen pics of taco's off road but havent been able to test the limits of mine yet.
you can go quite far with your truck in its stock form. Depending on the type of wheeling, you have a ton of options. From the sounds of it, you don't run fast over the terrain. Sliders are a good idea (www.demello-offroad.com) can build you a set. There are quite a few other companies that have sliders also. If you plan on going to a body lift , i'd put the body lift on before you get sliders and bumpers, as they mount to the frame and with a body lift... your bumpers/sliders will be further from your body.
there are a ton of sites to read up on. check out the links section on my website www.nowwgasa.net for other sites that have FAQ's. The TTORA faq page is building fast... but like anyother site... it will never get all the info on it.