Thanks for sharing your experiences, that really clarifies things here.
I've spoken to my LBS and they have my current bike geometry and my measurements and are going to try to find me a match, possibly in a 29er.
If they don't find one, then i'll look at the custom fit route.
Adding a higher angled stem and/or riser bar greater than what I already have just doesnt make me comfortable, and neither does changing the fork from 100mm to 140mm.
Many, many thanks again folks for all your inputs, it has greatly helped!
I'll let you know how it works out!