There is not any Chevy loyality in particular. I am mostly only loyal to price. I know people that swear by one brand or the other and neither seems to have any better luck than the other. I think brand loyality is mostly what one makes of it. I do all my own repairs so I become loyal to what ever is the easiest to fix. I have 2 Chrysler mini vans with a total of about 325K miles. Aside from the tranmissions they are great cars. I also have 2 20 year old Chevy Diesel trucks. I can't say that I would buy another but I manage to keep both running.
I think your observations about the Ford are as good a reason to look at them as any. As I said in my last post, I am not looking to undertake such a swap, but, given the right situation I would not turn it down.
I spent from 1970 until 1990 overseas so I am quite out of touch with all the new car engines (can tell you what is hot is 20K hp marine engines). A quick scan through one of the many hotrod mags. will really open one's eyes. I remember when the first 327ci./350hp Chevy came out and when Don Garlits ran the first 180 mph quarter. We all thought that that was just about as far an humans could go. Now I see that they are getting 1hp/ci out of a Riobi weed whacker engine converted to a model airplane engine, and 6Khp and 315mph out of a dragster. Will wonders never end.
In regard to the Buick engine I thought that the original aluminum engine was a 3.5 v8 that was later bored out to 3.8, but I may be wrong. I seem to remember that the original engine had a narrower V than the std. V8 which made if a good choice for putting into MGs, Austins and Triumphs. Regardless, there is a bunch of nice little engines that, with the proper tweeking, might make a very interesting conversion into a slc.