To my delight, Jan Heine of Bicycle Quarterly and Compass Cycles is advocating a new catetgory of bike that he is calling an "Enduro Allroad". This is a bike built to Jan's preferences (ie, light tubing, low trail, high quality tires) but optimized more for off-pavement riding. The biggest (and most exciting) difference is that this category of bike is designed to have 26" wheels and to run on Compass Cycles' new 26" x 55mm Rat Trap Pass tires. These tires are the same design and quality level as the other Compass tires but in a smaller and fatter size. This is HUGE news for those of us who like 26" wheels. There is also a 650B x 48mm Compass tire forthcoming.
Jan discusses his thoughts on this type of bike in the latest issue of Bicycle Quarterly.
Rawland has already introduced it's version of the Enduro Allroad in the forthcoming "Ravn", which looks to be available as a high component level complete bike or a frameset.
Rawland Cycles - Quality Production, Custom Qualities
Here is Rawland's illustration of a Ravn: