First of all, thanks for all the tips you guys have given me.
I finally decided on Trek 4500 from the LBS for my first real bike ever. (I've had a huffy (or can I call it GT?) since I was 12).
I left it stock for now, with the Trek manufactured cranks and wheels, Alivio derailers and a Rockshox Judy. It seems to fit my riding style pretty well (mostly trails) and is pretty comfortable. I can tell this is the right bike for me.
Sorry, no pic