I think the JKU is a fine alternative to the beloved XJ if fans of the Cherokee are wanting a new vehicle that's comparable. Just buy a hard top and never remove it! As for unibody vs BOF I feel the Jeep unibody design is stronger than a lot of BOF vehicles, especially older Jeeps. It's just a lot harder to repair for the average joe when it inevitably wears out. They're almost considered expendable or even disposable by today's standards.
He's an angel dressed in oilskins; he's a saint in the "Sou'wester,"
He's a pluck as they come, or ever can;
He's a hero born and bred, but it hasn't swelled his head,
For he's just the U.S. Government's hired man.