One of the advantages of going manual and getting away from push-buttons is electronic motor failure. With a manual lever, there is nothing to fail... it's simple and it just always works.
I carry a large box between my seats.
Losing floor space for a shifter was a bad idea for me.
I devised a shifter lever mounted to the side of my seat that pulls upward. It's handy, cheap to build, easy to reach, and takes up no more space than the seat-belt. It uses a shift cable that is easily routed and attached to transfer case.
Here's my personal-design side of seat shifter:
Here is the overhead view (looking down)
(early photo before I shortened the lever)
And video of my shifter idea in action:
This design idea is fully tweakable and adaptable to any situation.
Years later, I couldn't be happier I did it this way.
So ready and easy to use.. but yet completely out of the way and forgotten.
Not saying a button shift isn't a cool idea, but it just wasn't for me.
I prefer simplicity and reliability.
My story (includes shifter design):
Well, well... it's finally my turn to do this upgrade! I keep finding myself working on job-sites pulling heavy loads off-road desperately needing 4-LO range gearing and full time 4x4 operation. The 4.3 in the single high range AWD with taller tires and stock gears just isn't working well for...