2000 Dodge Dakota transmission question

this seems to be my story with the last Dodge to but I never did get any answers and ended up doing a transmission rebuilt at the tranny shop.. so before the tranny in my 2000 Dakota Sport 4X4 bellys up,
here's my question..
Every day I get in the truck to go to work, I start it, wait for the initial cold start rpms to drop back to idle, and put it into D.. nothing.. about 3-5 seconds later it goes into gear. I'm also starting to notice a degrade in shifting.. sometimes it's harsh, while other times it seems to slide nicely into the next gear. I just changed the two filters in the tranny last weekend, and it doesn't seem to be any better, in fact, It seems worse.
When I changed the filter there was no film or bits of clutches and other transmission parts in the pan. Just a slight discoloring of the fluid, no burn smell, and a light film on the magnet.. which I expected to see anyhow. From a not so informed transmission inspection standpoint, the tranny appeared clean and healthy inside and there were no visble debris in the open spaces in the bolt on filter. I really like this truck and would like to know if anybody else has experienced this and if there's something a decent non-tranmission expert type like transmission mechanic can fix?
2000 Dakota Sport 4X4 - 4.7 V8.
Thank You muchly!
Ken
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