I'm getting a new bike soon, and I'm having a trouble making a decision. I'm mainly interested in singletrack, aggressive rural/forest trails, and some XC. My budget is about $1200 to $1500, and after checking out a lot of bikes, I'm looking mostly at the Specialized P All Mountain and Specialized Rockhopper (I'm certain I want a hardtail). I really want to ride trails with obstacles, but I don't want to rule out the occasional light freeride. And being able to pedal a lot is a must.
I liked what I read about the P All Mountain because it can do trails as well as some urban if I want to get into that area, and it also has a really strong frame. Problem is I can't find it. The Canadian distributor is sold out of large and no one seems to have it in stock. If I tried really hard I could probably find one somewhere, maybe from the UK, but I don't know if it would be more trouble than it's worth. With the Rockhopper more readily available, I'm wondering if I'd really notice a difference at my skill level.
So basically... I need a bit of help please.