Best - Suspension
Cheapest - Body
Spacers are somehwere in the middle.
Suspension lifts move your axles further away from your frame.
Body lifts move your body further away from the frame.
Spacers are a type of suspension lift that move the coiled springs further from their mounts, effectviely making them longer.
In a perfect world your jeep would clear big enough tires to get your axles over stuff you want them to be over without making your center of gravity too high and thus the Jeep to easy to roll. The combination of lift choices is specific to the owner and the location. There are a blue million ways to do it, but a good way is a combination of the three. A couple inches of suspension and a 1" body lift is pretty solid and relatively cheap.
Hope this helps, you'll probably find some better answers below.
Body Lifts help if you want to a tummy tuck skid plates. I wouldn't say one is any better that the others, they all have there purpose, body lifts are cheap, but you should really limit it to 1.25", Suspension lifts can really go as high as you want or need to clear tires and as deep as you wallet will go. Long arm lifts are used usually when you get to 4" and above to get better angles, and better ride and articulation. Short or adjustable arms are what are normally used in smaller lifts. Then you have coil spacers which are a really cheap suspension lift, usually a combination of all three are used to get the stance the way you want it. Lastly the one you forgot is the Motor mount lift, which helps with driveline angles when you do suspension and body lifts.
2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
4.0L, 42RLE, Dual Tops, Full Doors, JKS Front Disconnects, Cragar Soft 8 Black Wheels, 33x12.5x15 Goodyear Duratracs, .75" Front Coil Spacers, Bushwacker 6" Flat Fender Flares, Skid Row Steering Box Skid, LubeLockers, Rubicon Locker Mod, OBA, Cobra 19 Ultra III CB, 3' Firestik, Rough Country 2.2 Steering Stabilizer, RC 1.25" BL, RC 1" MML, RC Grab Handles, Fog Lamp Bent Pin Mod, 4" Apline S Series Speakers, Kenwood Excelon 6.5" Speakers, 6.5" JL Audio 6W3V3 Subwoofer (in center console) w/MTX Thunder 202 amp, IPF H4 Headlight Housing, Sliverstar H4 bulbs.
Usually a small body lift is used in conjunction with a suspension lift. Also if you go over 3-4 inches in the suspension department you will need a slip yolk eliminator and a cv driveshaft to compensate for the steep angle between the output shaft and the pinion. Best bet is to start with a solid suspension lift and work around that.
well right now my jeep spends most of its days in charlotte where I go to college and I really havent had a chance to take it off road yet..i plan on asking fellow jeepers at unc-charlotte..
right now I think it has 1 inch coil spacers (budget boost-rubicon). is that good enough to go off road without risking breaking any vital parts (i am in college and dont have a job yet)