I have a 8.4 DS and absolutely love it..... that said, I looked at the 8.5 and quickly dismissed it. It is starting to get a bit much for a bike that is really a master or nothing. Come up with a list of what you would like from a bike and that should be it.... for me the remote lockout on the 8.5 is not worth it, reaching a few inches to the 8.4 fork lockout is more than fine given that it is really is not the kind of bike you would be riding on a technical trail. Components may be better, but again, you may want to consider a more specialized bike for the type of riding you do if you are looking at over $1K
When buying a new bike, you first must consider your budget. Next, the type of roads you'll be traveling on, and how long you'll be riding on them. Personally, I think that front suspensions are only good with the lockout feature. A rigid fork would usually be my first choice, unless I'm mtbikng.