I've never met him. When I lived in Seattle I just never came up with the time to go visit his shop. But it's a shop that specializes in diesels (Toyotas and VWs from what I've seen)
He's got and has sold over the years a good number of diesel Toyotas. I don't know how a 4x4 powered by the 2L would do. I hear that the normally aspirated diesel isn't so hot in the 4x4 flavor. At low altitudes though I'd bet it'd be just fine on the highway. For wheeling, I think it'd be great. My turbo doesn't spool at all when I wheel, it might as well not be there.