First, I have read throught the FAQ and although very infomative it didn't really answer my questions.
I'm re-entering the sport after a 14yr break so I'm not a complete newbie. I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to get back into it rather quickly so I don't want to start with a $500 beginner bike to just replace it in a couple months.
I'm so close to ordering an '06 Rockhopper Pro Disc but before I do I want to make sure I explore all options. I've test ridden the Gary Fisher Tess., Fuji (didn't pay attention 'cause if didn't feel right) and Giant Rainier. Are there any other bikes in the $1100 MSRP range that I should check out before taking the plunge?