I've often recommended the Rustler to people who are just getting into RCs. They are tough as nails and parts are both available and cheap. Even at Hobby Clown.
The diffs are amazingly strong too. My brother has an O.S. .18 with a CVEC pipe on his. Nuts! Wheelies at any speed. Third motor and Original diff in it. His sons have both the electric and nitro versions. I picked them up cheap and gave them as Xmas gifts. They're 13 and 14. They've hit everything under the sun, and haven't replaced a part yet. Neither of them is stock anymore.
My oldest son, has had his for almost ten years. It had the original 1.5. He swapped it for the 2.5. He's currently running an O.S. .15 with the stinger pipe. I witnessed him hitting a tire of a parked car while racing an RS4 (Picco .15, 2 speed) on our street. He would have won, but he clipped the car with the right front tire. The spins, cartwheels and flips were awesome. Drove away with out a scratch. To this day he has only replaced an after market rim, and a front A-arm. That was my fault. I clipped him mid-air off of a 5' BMX jump in the woods out back. The tree he slammed into wasn't very forgiving. Oops.
He broke it down over the winter, cleaned everything and got it ready for spring. He rebuilt the diff. Not because it needed it, but because he figured it was due. I just shook my head. The old parts don't look much different than the new parts. He saved it all for spares, just in case. You never know. Cost....about 12.00.
I've owned around 30 different RCs starting with the original RC10 in the mid 80's, (I know, I'm old) and I've never seen anything so tough. I'm not a fan of Traxxas. In fact I've only owned one. The electric 4-Tec. I only bought it because the guy was desperate for money and it looked like a fun project. Wicked fast when I was done with it.
My point is, if you're looking to get started or just want something to beat the snot out of, then the Rustler is the way to go. Yes, you can buy hop-ups to make any RC indestructable, but why?