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I don't have anything to add, but similar experiences. This is my first truck and I am curious to know how "loud" the drive train (t-case, front drive shaft) should be with 4x4 engaged.
I know when 4x4 is engaged I can definitely hear what I thought was the hub on the drivers side. It's quiet below 50 km/h (30 mph), but applying throttle after that it gradually gets louder. Once I'm up to speed with steady throttle I can hardly hear it, but letting off throttle makes it much more noticeable again. I always thought it was the hub, but based on your experience maybe is the u-joint.
I know on an icy road with 4x4 engaged if I slam on the brakes, I hear an initial clunk--I suspect its because the front brakes lock the wheels (on the first pump from abs), which in turn locks axle, then abruptly stops the front driveshaft causing a clunk in the u-joint (if there is some slop)
Also, in 4x4 when accelerating I hear a soft clunk in the 2-3 shift which is not noticeable in 2wd, so I had thought a bad u-joint was making it more noticeable.
I'm not even close to a mechanic, so this is just speculation.
2007 F-350 Lariat, Oxford White, on 20" rockstars