I ride road a lot, but I've been riding trails this summer some with some friends on my brother's lower-end Fuji. I pretty spectacularly destroyed the rear wheel and I'm only 165 pounds. So I owe him a new wheel, but I want something to ride myself. I am in MN, so no real mountains, just trails. I am thinking hardtail, because that's what I know. I'm most interested in quality wheels, fork and brakes. A friend of mine might be able to hook me up with a deal on a Cannondale at the shop he works at, but I'd love suggestions.
Does the hardtail idea seem like a good one? Full suspension seems a little much for me.
Edit: The other thing is I am 6'4" so I need something fairly large. Probably a 24" frame.