GS pointed you towards myself, I have an 8.8 almost barebones in my garage right now. I can give you a quite thurough explanation of the 8.8, its pros, cons, and how much you will be looking to spend!
I am also, going with the Artec system with Truss, I'll be going to 35"s so the truss will be nice not only for the extra strength but for a possible 4 link in the rear in the future. Its a great kit, theyve sold alot of them and they are about impossible to mess up installation, the only thing you could mess up would be the angle in which you weld the brackets relative to the pinion angle, and thats covered in the given instructions
Truss will also help with tube spin/bend in hardcore situations! The inner axle shafts of an 8.8 are massive, and the common 31 spline shafts are incredibly strong, so no need for chromo's or a c clip eliminator unless you are going to be really pushing this axle hard.
The deal of the day is a score! I'd snag it up..
Heres a ROUGH layout of costs to build this axle for 35"s. Anything below a 33" and youre kind of hurting ground clearance but can be done with 31"s. If you are running anything smaller than 33"s this can be off!
Axle- $150 at a junk yard, can be had from a 95-01 explorer. Comes with disc brakes, many gear ratios and even an LSD. a D2 comes with LSD and 4.10's mine came with 3.73's and LSD.
Gears- $100+ Yukon, G2, Motive are brands that make gears for the 8.8, unless you get one with a gear set that is what you want!
Locker or LSD- $400-$1000 The factory carriers are known to be weak in rough to hardcore wheeling situations, a full case locker or even a new LSD will cure this.
Axle Shafts- they have 28 spline and 31 spline, try and get the 31 spline and it will save you some cash, but the 28 splines are still a tad stronger than a D44 shaft. No need for aftermarket till around 37"s.
Outer end hardware and brakes- Look for around $150-$900, totally depends on what you want, and how much you have to spend!
Misc- $200 for seals, brake lines, e brake cable, u joint, blah blah.
Welding and Sandblasting- $200, $50 for sandblasting and $150 for welding, can be much less..
In the ballpark of $1550... Sell you scrap axle for $150, youre at $1400... for a very strong and reliable axle! That is locked! You can save almost $700 by keeping the axle open, but for me its a must to have a locker..