He paid a crazy amount for the new tailgate also. My neighbor just got one for his 04 for $400 and it was painted to match. I am sure that I could easily do the computer design work as that is what I have done for the last 6 years. I am sure that could get my machine shop to do it for under $500. Then I would just need to get my neighbor who was a body guy at GM for 25 years to put it on and bondo it. I get the paint for free. Crap! I am talking myself into this.
I wouldn't buy a new tailgate I'd just have it done to mine if I were going to do it. That's yet more savings ... and a shop can work on and paint the tailgate while you drive around and do other things, so it's no big deal to be without it.
The obnoxious part of the process is probably getting the tailgate latch moved to the inside of the tailgate, as there's some custom fabrication needed, there. It'd be even more complex in my case, as I have a Pop & Lock mechanism tied into my power locks ... to lock/unlock my tailgate when the doors are locked/unlocked.