YJs are great for exactly the reasons you listed, plus I'd add that a lot of serious Jeepers now think of them as great starts for building monsters. There's a guy here -- can't find his name right now -- who's been showing off pictures of his really-built YJ. And it looks great.
If you leave it mostly stock, you might want to watch for the early years and their Peugot transmissions - it's a weak area (but keep in mind that "serious" builders think all factory parts are weak, and only like things made from solid unobtanium).
They are more costly, but don't rule out TJs completely. The stock coil suspension is pretty nice for a daily driver. A little civilization is sometimes worth the cost.