Ok, so for ~300 I am looking at a Kona Unit 2-9, Explosif 2-9, or a Karate Monkey. The Kona's have sliding dropouts which is nice for running discs, but all three are disc compatible. The Karate Monkey includes a rigid fork for the price and is available locally. Both the Explosif and Surly are more versatile in easily being set up as ss (most likely) or geared. Am I missing any major benefit of the Unit? It seems the explosif and karate monkey seem to be better options, especially since they are all comparable in price.
What am I not taking into account when looking at these?
Which would you rather have (for you personally, in your situation were you looking at them) and why?
Oh, and so I don't forget, all would be built up for general singletrack xc, maximum drops of up to 2 feet, but primarily keeping both wheels on the ground.