Moral: The US doesn't properly appreciate Toyotas. Therefore, we don't get the HiLux or HiAce nowadays, and those we have remaining go to places that do.
Americans DO appreciate Toyotas as the success of the Taco on our roads clearly demonstrates(I swear in Maui every other car was a Taco), however we do not beat on our trucks the way the rest of the world does, and we repair our vehicles for the most part when they are damaged compared to the rest of the globe. Perhaps I should say that 'we' did not use the hilux to its full potential(according to Toyota marketing i guess), so they created the 'softer' Tacoma, compared to the Hilux. Personally, i think our Taco looks better than the Hilux, but everything else about the Hilux is more robust than than the Taco. I wonder if the demand for the Taco down south is due to reliability, and not necessarily heavy duty mini truck duties. Go to http://www.toyodiy.com/
and cross reference Taco and Hilux parts, it amazes me how many parts are not shared between models. towing and payload specs also tell the story.
I daily a 92' 22re Pickup, in MD and have had many offers to buy my truck from gentlemen of south of the border. A neighboring office manager stopped me one day and asked what year my truck was, and that he used to own a similar long bed. He was from Guatemala, and told me that the those trucks are often hijacked at gunpoint. They take the truck, leave you on the side of the road and strip it to resell all the parts. Very bad men, as he explained. Funny, he drives an Escalade here in the states.