I have a 2000 Jeep TJ 4cyl with rough country series 2 4". Great lift, if something goes wrong they replace it for free. I have 32x11.50x15 swamper tsl radials that the 4 banger pushes down the road and freeway just fine. I'm sure you are running 4.10/4.11 gears as am I. I am regearing to 4.88 and lock rear also dropping a ford 8.8 rearend. I bought this jeep for 5500 and so far ive put in a grand for lift, tires, and 8.8 rear axle. You don't need to have a 6cyl to have fun. My 4banger does great here in washington state in the mountains as it sits with the lift tires and everything else stock. It hangs with the 6cyl and occasionally pulls out 4.0's from tigh spots. If you are sticking to that budget just be patient and great deals will fall in your lap. Check craigslist everyday, shop for online discounts and it will happen for you. Good luck out on the trails.
Build it, wheel it, Break it, fix it, repeat!
2000 TJ 4cyl