So you're right. On paper, the Bison is the perfect for my needs, it would require almost no aftermarket (just a rack and eventually maybe another rear bumper), people love it, but honestly I'm a bit put out by the poor predicted reliability and only mediocre safety ratings. I know a few owners of some of the lower tier trims that are mixed on it. THAT SAID, it's hard to tell if those reliability ratings will hold for the higher trims. I also grew up when American cars were just a total joke and have never fully been able to shake that view. FWIW I have the same worries with Ram (Hemi tick and all the doodads falling apart are common complaints). Ford Ranger also doesn't do great in predicted reliability either. To further confuse matters, JD and CR often give opposite scores (Gladiator gets high praise from CR and JD says avoid).I've owned/own many, many Jeeps (Wife has a 2016 Grand Cherokee currently), full-size trucks (Ford, GM, Dodge, Nissan), etc but the truck in my avatar/sig has been the best combination of everything so far. Since even the long-bed mid-size trucks won't have a bed long enough for you to sleep in that means you have more options since bed length doesn't matter as much. As such, I'd recommend checking out a Colorado ZR2 or ZR2 Bison, I'm partial to diesels but the V6 is also a solid option. The ZR2 will give you excellent capabilities while maintaining great on-road manners and comfort that a Rubicon (Wrangler or Gladiator) just won't have, because I've owned a Rubicon as well. There is a solid aftermarket for them, too. I'm 6'1" with a 36" inseam and have plenty of room.
If I didn't have kids and were in the market today I would probably go with an ECLB (Extended Cab Long Bed) ZR2 or ZR2 Bison with the Duramax, get an extra foot of bed length and still have storage space inside the cab while maintaining the short wheelbase of the CCSB trucks. If diesel isn't your thing then the 3.6 gasser has plenty of power as well.
Having driven both my mid-size truck as well as an F-150 with the 2.7EB on trails in Colorado it reaffirmed by decision to go with the mid-size truck. It's just so much easier to maneuver on trails not to mention much easier to manage in cities and tight parking areas.
I also wouldn't be opposed to a Gladiator, however the common complaint that I hear is that people 6' or taller have problems with leg room due to the driver's seat not going back far enough. I haven't driven a JL or a Gladiator yet to be able to compare it to the JKUR that I had, but with my JKUR it was a chore to take on long trips. Noisy, twitchy in the wind, not the greatest ride quality on less-than-perfect roads, etc. Maybe I'm just getting old and prefer something a bit more comfortable and refined, who knows. :)
Good luck with your search! I can't wait for summer and a nice, long road trip again.
Additionally, I set up a simulated midsize long bed in my living room with a bunch of cardboard that I was going to dispose of anyway. I really don't see myself being comfortable in there, and if I want to fit a second person, forget it. So if I want to sleep in the back, it's full size all the way. That said, there seem to be a lot of great RTT options out now, and I'm not against that at all (would consider even on full size).
Edit: did a little more looking into CR vs JD and it seems like CR sends out surveys to owners as well as uses passed performance to assess the reliability. JD seems to use a mix of this plus having experts look over the cars built and materials as well as past performance of powertrain. Seems like the Colorado specifically had an issue with the fluid in their 8 speed that's resolved but CR still penializes them for (for example).