I know this question seems to be asked in every other thread, but I am new to mountain biking and in need of some advice. I've been doing some research and would like to spend around $600 on a bike. I haven't rode in years and in the past its always been on the road with a wal-mart bike. I really like the Kona Blast but I was wondering if i should maybe be looking at a steel frame bike like the Kona Lava Dome? Other than the frame steel vs. alum. what the difference in the bikes? I dont really know what parts are better than others, but I come from a dirtbike/atv background and its just a matter of time until i try to jump it off something. How much of a differance would the steel or aluminum frame make? Would I be better off going with a Kona Scab or similar bike? How would one of those hardtail "freeride" bike do for XC? I really like the whole XC idea but theres going to be a fair amount of drops and jumps. I dont live really close to any bike shops but ill be going to test ride a few in a week or so. ANY ADVICE OR SUGGESTIONS ARE MORE THAN WELCOME.