The more I research the Rover V8 engine, the more I like it. It's a lightweight, powerful little V8 with a LOT of potential. Early engines have their own quirks, but the 97 defenders corrected most of the design flaws of the 3.9 engines (which can also be mostly applied to 3.9's retroactively). The engine itself..... if well cared for is easily capable of 150-200k before needing a rebuild. The only ancillary of any concern is the radiator which does clog up internally sometimes due to the narrow tubing used in it, but even then it usually does well with a good cleanout by a radiator shop and is actually quite well built.
The downside is that when things DO fail, they ain't cheap and your local auto-parts place usually doesn't carry much. This can be offset in many cases by careful research into parts normally used in other applications. I've found full sets of 8 brand new, good brand injectors for the price that Land Rover charges for just one.
Just change the fluids regularly, change the belts and hoses when needed, and keep an eye on things.
My oil line fix
My 100k stopped odometer fix
Brace for impact, I'm in a "modifying mood". Massive thread count inbound.