Well, the boyfriend and I spent the day visiting seemingly every bike shop on god's green earth ... and I came home with a new set of wheels!!!!
Ended up with the Stumpjumper hardtail with disc breaks in black. The black is taking some getting used to (although its growing on me - I was hoping for a color a little girlier ) but other than that I LOVE the way it rides and feels!!!!!
Tomorrow I will hit the trails for the first time in a while ... it might not be pretty ... but I'm sure it will be FUN!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for all the suggestions!