If you can plan ahead, John Wood is closer to you and will build a more budget version for you, or at least he suggested that would be a good fit for my situation. BTS builds the same transmission for every application and then configures it for yours.
I ended up with a BTS due to timing, shipping to/from SF added ~ $550. Nothing about this was cheap. (Except for the schaeffer fluid, at least compared to zf8 speed fluid.)
They both have great reputations, though I personally still barely have any miles on mine. Dealing with BTS was a super pleasant experience.
It's sad that Ford it cutting corners here, but they must be considering this an end-of life platform at this point. My van is, at 17 years, older than our first classic car was when we bought it. At least this is a volume platform with a broad aftermarket.
'99 EB ex ENG KSWB news van, low rent 4x4 conversion (mostly fixed by now), home built interior.