I live right down the road in Grifton, and I'm in the market for a new Jeep, too.
If you want to use it on road and off, absolutely stay away from anything that is 4x2. I've read the 5-speed automatic in the new Wranglers is really nice, and I test drove a couple of '14 JKUs with a six-speed manual and was very impressed.
I know the opinions vary greatly on this topic, but I'm one of those guys who feels like a Wrangler ought to be a manual transmission. To each his own in that regard.
You can't beat a Wrangler for the fun factor. I had an '05 for several years, traded it in for a Dodge Ram 1500 pick-up and am looking to get back into a Jeep again.