I can't speak for Consumer Reports or JD Power, nor have I read their ratings report. My own experience is as follows:
02 Tundra Ltd with the 4.6l gas engine:
- 75000 miles over 7 years,
- regular maintenance and $300 for failed O2 Sensors,
- failed rear universal joint replaced under warranty.
09 Ford F150 Platinum with 5.4l gas engine:
- 40000 miles over 3 years (still under basic warranty),
- regular maintenance and,
- towed in to dealer after driveshaft failure,
- transmission "brain" failure (the PCM and solenoid valves they told me) and barely made it to the dealer in "limp home mode",
- manifold exhaust bolt failure requiring replacement.
Looking at a new vehicle, I can buy the 100,000 mile 7 year extended warranty for $2600 with a Toyota. The same warranty on a new Ford is $4300. Conclude what you want but I suspect the warranty price is heavily influenced by unbiased probability of payout based on statistics.
So, you might ask why did I buy the Ford? It is a beautiful truck, comfortable, rides excellent, and has a very sophisticated tow management system. It was also $9000 less than the comparable Toyota, at the time. When I bought the F150 in 09 there was no Airstream and no trailer of any kind in the mix, although I thought there might be in the future. I was very much predisposed to buy another Tundra, but I was not impressed with the new Tundra. My old one was built in Japan and although many interior parts were more car-like than rough-and-tumble, as a truck it was the little engine that could. The new Tundra by comparison seemed big, ungainly, and unfinished. I opted for the Ford, with it's beautiful interior and hands free SYNC system. Seduced by the dark side probably.
I have not towed much, as the AS will see its first anniversary this coming June. What I can say to date is that in my situation with two adults, two children, one dog and the incredible number of things that get brought along for this gang my 1/2 ton is at or over it's payload limit. I need to reduce the tonnage or get a bigger truck. This is just my situation. I met a couple from Texas this past summer who were full-timing with an identical AS towed by a late model Tundra. Just the two of them and one cat. He has been all over North America and was quite comfortable with his 1/2 ton.
It would be presumptuous for one "newbie" to offer another advice, especially on the choice of tow vehicle. The comments in this thread that speak to determining your needs make sense to me. I plan to stay the course for one more summer, which is about 1500
miles of towing on relatively flat roads. I will pack smarter and pack less, and I will buy a new tow vehicle in 12 months for the 2013 season. Maybe by then someone will make a super reliable 5/8 ton gas diesel electric supercharged hybrid, hopefully in white.