Re: The contriversal T-5....
I've had a few T-5's in my own family, and I also run a repair business where I have the opportunity to see what other folks are doing with them. In general, I would say that I don't believe they deserve a real bad reputation. And, yes, they can be hurt. My own daughter, who I consider a pretty agressive driver, has not broken her T-5, with currently over 250K miles on it. But, it HAS had some 'normal' T-5 problems. (Her CJ is a stock 258, with only 31-inch tires.)
Based on working on lots of T-5's, I would say that I believe the first thing to go is third gear. The teeth on third can break, and by the time you get to it, it has also destroyed the cluster.
If you drive conservatively, third will probably never break. Then, just from age and miles, the next thing to go is the front bearing. If you let it go, then it will also ruin the input shaft and cluster. At this point, you will also probably need syncros and a small parts kit (which includes the bearings, seals, etc). I have never actually seen any real bad syncros. I assume that folks with syncro problems, really thrash them.
And, finally, I have seen a few fifth gears that have broken. It often takes both gears, and I have seen a few times that it ruined the housing (the adapter housing between the trans and t-case).
My gear source is rather limited. I am only able to get one ratio for third (I believe two were used in Jeeps). This really lakes no difference, since I have always had to buy third and the cluster together. This would only make a difference if you wanted to buy third, without the cluster. And, for 5th, I've had minor problems getting the correct gears (again, two ratios were used).
To anyone that might want to fix a high-mileage T-5, and not 'spring' for an expensive alternative... If you have had good service from the T-5, Why not? Sure, parts are pretty expensive. But, the alternatives are more expensive.
I have the original Jeep factory service booklet for the T-5. I would xerox the disassembly/assembly procedure for anyone that is not able to find the info. And, BTW, you can often find the service booklet where you buy the gears. My local guy has a rack of booklets that covers almost every automatic and stick trans from all over the world.