I get what youre saying, I just disagree. That '96 you mention sounds like a hell of a truck. There isn't an American truck v8 from that era that is "entertaining" to me. The obscurity of the odd/less produced powertrains is what's interesting IMO.
For perspective -- Cruising along in an...
He meant stock rods. Even that number is conservative. Stocks are good to 6500 or so depending on power level.
Upgraded rods should take you to 7500+rpm with ease -- otherwise the juice aint worth the squeeze.