Not a native here, but gotta love those hills!
Im a roadie who is looking to start on mountain bike soon as there are few road races here and tons of mountain bike races. Would welcome any suggestions for a bike to start with.
What part of the state are you from? There are tons of bikes you could start with, so I wont attempt to answer that one. I would just look at your local bike shop, and see what other riders in your area are riding. I have a Gary Fisher Paragon that works great in these here hills.
Fuji bikes seem nice, but I can see how you'd want more variety. You might try looking at mtbr.com for tons of reviews on different types of mountain bikes, plus a more mountain bike oriented forum. Hope it helps.