I can see how most people that start with a cheap dept. store MTB would get the bug to get a more expensive and better bike, then another, etc. over the years.
But has anyone skipped that process and instead went right out and bought a high end bike? What bike did you get and why? Cost? How did the cheap and expensive bikes compare in feel and performance on the trails?
Did going from no suspension to full suspension and maybe disc brakes make a big difference in feel and capability?
Add to that anyone that bypassed getting a high end bike and just built (or had one built) from the frame up with specific components. Give details of your choices, cost, and was it worth it over buying a pre-made bike.