Piston slap, lifter noise, and other noisy gremlins
This has come up literally every other week over at GM-Trucks.com for the past few years. Every engine model in the Gen III/IV line has experienced lifter noise. Some worse than others. My truck (Silverado) certainly has it, and it's now got just over 75k miles but still runs like a champ. Oil quality and weight do affect how prevalent it is. Some of the truck guys have switched over to 10w-40 and claim it's gone away. I stick with the factory 5w-30, but have always used synthetic. I'm confident that wen I pull the valve covers this weekend to put on my roller-tip rockers that I'll see little to no wear or sludge underneath.
Piston slap is another matter, and that was problematic on earlier LS1 and vortec engines up through 2001. They started using new pistons with a teflon layer on the skirts after that to reduce the noise. It's also quite a bit louder and sounds more like a hammer tap on your engine block than a "tick tick tick tick tick". You'll know if you have it. :smash :smash :smash :smash :smash :smash :smash :smash Not to say that it's completely gone, but it should be quite the exception today rather than a common problem.
Also, the TSB Bad Asphalt posted has never been mentioned to my knowledge over at the truck board. Strange since some of the members there seem to know of a lot of them.