For that price I'd go for it simply for the 8.8 with the ARB. Yeah, the D30 sucks ass and the 8.8 isn't an excellent axle, but if the rig is being built as a light wheeler/DD then it should be fine. Of course, if you are wanting a more serious/hardcore wheeler then I'd steer clear of the D30/8.8. Also, like you said, if you setup the long arms properly you can drop a JK44 in later...
I love the "wheel like a bitch" comment too. If you build a rig with less than desirable hardware expecting it to hold up to what you are putting it through then you can not blame it on the hardware. The most important part to building a wheeler is knowing what you want to do with that rig and build it accordingly. Especially if you plan on DD'n the rig!! Pavement queens don't need 60's and chromo's and rock bouncers shouldn't be running D30/D35's. Built it accordingly and stick to what you built it for....
I built my 720 with a D44/12 bolt simply because they were given to me. Not the greatest axles, but the price was right and I knew she was gonna be a trailer queen. Both axles have held up to a lot of abuse with my 36's. Stock transfer case... not so much! I also knew that I'd eventually upgrade to better axles, engine, ect... That was part of my plan... That is why there is a 350/350/203/205/D60/14 bolt sitting in my garage waiting to get shoehorned into my lil truck!
Moral of the story... its a wheeler. Chances are it IS GOING TO BREAK! If you are nice to the D30/8.8 it should hold up fine. If ya beat on it, it will not last long. I run with guys that compete in rock crawls that go out and putt around in stock jeeps. Nothing breaks simply because the drivers know what their equipment can hold up to.
'81 DATSUN 720!! SAS w/ locked D60/14B, Divorced np205. 36" Iroks