if you notice CJ had the longest run...but it is broken down by CJ 5 and CJ 7, CJ 8,
the CJ5 was a real short wheelbase, like the original jeep from the war (CJ is short for Civilian Jeep), CJ 7 had a long run with many sub models, and CJ 8 was a longer wheelbase, like the unlimiteds are now
In the early 80's the auto world was getting more into styling, with plastics able to make the cabs more sleek, every one was changing look at any vehicle from 82-89 and they all got a face lift of some kind.
In 97 the TJ was a major redesign in suspension/chassis with coils rather than leafsprings, and more creature comforts, of course more safety features
and the 07+ JK is a polishing of that in my opinion, making it more for the masses to appreciate a Jeep
Its all in what you want, comforts and technology obviously increase with each new design that used the newest manufacturing techniques, but you cant wrench on a JK like you can a CJ, but that's like that with anything really when comparing 70-80 to 00-10's