Sorry I didn't respond to your post sooner...weekend was here and I was away from the computer. I understand what your saying about the AMC 20 and the costs of swapping in D44s, lockers and gears. The $100 running Scout is a no brainer...you gotta buy it. But I'm usually a cheap ass. I'm spending $ like crazy right now with my D44 swap, gears, detroits, axle bearings, seals, brake shoes, etc...its killing me. If you don't want to spend a wad of $, after having acquired another 4x4 for $100, I'd just leave it as an extra play toy for right now and maybe put a Lock-Right in the front of your Dana 30 for $250...h*ll you might even weld the front spider gears. Then just give it h*ll and see what the Dana30 will hold up to...you've now got d44s as replacements if the Dana30 shells. You might be suprised. There are alot of guys out there running D30s with 35s and lockers and 350s or 360s. I just saw one of Peanut's (Kelly Van Zandt's) with a 360, 35 boggers, lockers and the ol' Dana30 up front. My Dana 30 with a Lock-Right has held up...with the exception of blowing axleshaft u-joints (BTW, use the Napa super strength u-joints in your D30 if you put a locker in it). The AMC20 with 1 piece axles is probably as strong as the D44...you'll break the D30 long before the AMC20.
If you gotta swap gears, do the Dana44s. The gear swap and stuffing D44s under your jeep has a lot of sh*t that goes with it. It's not just a bolt on, low cost, 1 day project. I don't think I'd do a gear swap with your stock axles when you've got D44s right under your nose. Just rough estimating it, a gear swap and front locker for your stock axles will run $420 gears and install kits, $250 Lock-Right, installation of gears $300= $970, plus probably $100 for new carriers if you go down to 3.73s or lower.
Gear swap for the D44s is something like $420 gears and install kits, $250 each for Lock-Rights, $50 ea. for new carriers, installation of gears $300 = $1,320. Not much in price difference to go to the D44s. But your still gotta set 'em up underneath your jeep, correct the front caster, possibly modify driveshafts, maybe new rear axle bearings and seals on the rear, weld on spring perches for your SOA, etc... You can always sell your AMC 20 or part it out(1 piece axle, locker, housing) and make up a little money. This is the most expensive option but will get you what you want in the end.
Another option. you could put the Scout axles under your jeep now with their current gears. With your 360 and the 3.54 in the Scout axles you could turn 35s okay with out a gear swap right away... maybe an improvement over your current gearing. Buy an open carrier for the rear and put a Lock -Right in it. Or weld up the Scout rear (if you can with a lmtd slip) and be basically where you are now...doesn't matter that its welded up you'll eventually swap gears and buy a new carrier with your lower gears.
If you need open carriers for 3.54s I've got 2 I'll sell for $50.