I'd sure like to find some of these that are $2000 or less. Hell I could travel 1000mi one way to get one and still save money over what one would bring here. In good-great shape that is.
Sure won't find them in KY for that price but rather more like the last couple of prices mentioned - $5K+. Again, that is for one in good shape with little to no rust on it and mechanically checks out ok.
I don't see many in my area of New York State with no rust. When they do show up, they are usually brought here from Pennsylvania. Last one I saw at auction - was a mid-80s 1 ton, four-door 4WD with a 6.2 and TH400 trans. It was a "plain Jane" truck with roll up windows and such - but had no rust and ran fine. Had a 5 digit odometer - so nobody knew the true mileage. Said 20K on it - could have been 120K, 220K, who nows? That's often the case with older 6.2 Chevys. That truck sold for $800. I bought the 89 GMC 6.2 diesel 3/4 4WD Suburban next to it. It has no rust, and 70K verified miles - it was a fire-department truck. I paid $700 for it. It has an awful paint-job since they quickly put a coat of white over the fire-department red. Runs and drives like a new truck, though.
Town near me had a sale a while back of beat-up CUCV military diesel trucks. K5 blazers and several two door and four-door trucks. The four-door trucks were 1 ton, 4WD with 6.2 diesel and TH400 trans. Most sold in the $400 price range - a few ran, and many did not. I heard later that our government gives away such trucks to qualifying agencies that are registered as "non profit."
In regard to the drive-train being worth $3000 in those 1 ton 4WDs? Maybe somewhere, not here though. I often see them down the metal scrapyard. Trucks rusted out - but all the drivetrain intact. Go to the salvage yard and buy a Dana 60 front-axle and it'll cost you around $150.
Now - the four-door, 6.2 diesel, 1 ton 2WD trucks are common - since that's what the NYS road department used for years to cart around workers. I've seen many for sale in the $500 price range. Often they get bought, stripped for the engine and trans. and rest sold for scrapmetal at $50 per ton.