I'm looking at the GT triple triangle bike. I know they made an 853 steel. I can't find that particular model. But a local craigslist add has one for a reasonable price. It's been for sale for quite some time now.
I rode an early Cannondale MTB bike and was totally amazed at the stiffness and power I could get compared to the old steel MTB. It seems like I might need to open my mind to the possibility of aluminum.
Some people are still riding Vitus bikes without fail. It makes me really wonder about the myths of aluminum fatigue.