rookie needs bicycle suggestions
I have had cheap mountain bikes in the past, but I am looking to buy myself a good bike.
What I want:
-Ride off-road trails
-have it be able to take at least a little beating
-also be able to have it be a decent bike for street riding.
-light so I can easily haul it, bike rack or back of a truck.
I have been interested in Kona's and Cannondale's, but again, I really don't know much about bikes. I am pretty sure I want disc breaks all around on the thing, but can always use opinions on that. Also, I am not sure if I want all around suspension or a hard-tail. People have suggested hard tails because they like to feel the road, but others have suggested suspension for comfort. I will be riding mountain and park trails with it for exercise and fun, but would also like to use it for street riding for errands, going back and forth to classes on campus (will be moving to bellingham, wa this fall) and on the street for exercise as well. I understand that if I get seriously into street or mountain biking, I probably want to get one of each type of bike, but for now. I want a great multipurpose bike. I am not sure what costs are for what I am looking at, but don't think I want to spend more than $700.
Any suggestions and direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!