Yeah, @ChamFreak 1x2s will be plenty study enough if you're comfortable doing a bit more carpentry.It would definitely be sturdy!
Like you, I am also a huge fan of screws(T-25), maybe even to a fault. Because of this I am all too familiar with splitting wood! I remedy this by pre-drilling every screw location. Yes, it is an extra step but if you want to do it right it’s required. Pre-drilling is as much a part of the fastening process as choosing the correct type of screw to use. Yes, that particular viv has screws and glue.
It's just a few things you'll have to prep to make sure you don't screw it up, but it'll be much lighter.
I would only use 2x4s if you plan on making something huge that you don't plan on moving, or you want to make something quick and dumb in like 15 minutes.