I bought my 04LT back in June thinking of a 4,000 mi trip I had planned for Aug. Then I started reading all the "repair" threads on this site. I even posted a thread similar to yours about being nervous about my trip out west..
I've now put close to 7,000 on it since I bought it. (24,000 to 31,000) It is running better now than when I first bought it.
All I have had to do is change oil etc. (& final drive oil)
I keep looking for oil drops, and I'm paying close attention for any clutch slippage. I bought metal cables to catch the mirrors, if they fall. I'm planning to drill the weep holes at the 36,000 mi service.
Its a great bike. I test drove the wing, it was just not made for me (6'5".) I did not want a Harley (I put on too many miles).. The LT was the only bike that could do all I wanted.. It still is.
I think its just the nature of this site to focus on "problems." It makes sense. Who's going to post every day about a "great ride" "no problems" ??
Its obvious by the tire wear that there are riders out there that are pushing their LTs a lot more than the average rider, and they are staying with it.
I'm really happy with mine, and when it does have a problem, I'll fix it and keep riding. Its not perfect, but I can't think of another bike I'd rather own..