I got my GF Marlin last year as a 2002 model and I feel its a good fit for me, both price out the door and for what I do as it was about $400 out the door with a crappy Shim Altus/Alivo 8speed drivetrain on it. I got it with the aspirations of a cheapish bike which can be upgraded down the road. That time is now, as Ive been doing some research into upgrading to an XT 9 speed set. Doing some research here and there, I can probaby get everything; shifter/brake levers, crank, cassette, etc for about $250 online. I decided to call my LBS to get a quote on parts locally and was basically told to buy a new bike because mine is too much of a POS for these parts.
Ive had good experiences with this shop in the past, as they have hooked me up with this and that as well as drop prices on a few things for me. So Im hoping they are just trying to get me to dump more coin on a bike than the parts I want.
Am I a fool for wanting to put this amount into a drivetrain on my "inferior" frame? For comparison, the bike in Fisher's line that comes with XT components is the $1000 Big Sur. Why spend this much on a bike when I can upgrade my bike for much less than that?