I went to the LBS to look at Rocky Mountains...I posted earlier that I was stuck between the element sport and a marin mt. vision 5.6 well...I bought a 2010 element 50. It was clearanced for 1899, and I bought it for 1700. It seemed like the shocks/component group/wheels/brakes were worth the extra cash, not to mention the free adjustments/yearly service.
I looked at Scotts and Treks, and it just didn't seem like they spec'd as well. I really couldn't tell a difference in the rear shock design. I know the rocky isn't state of the art, but the fork has three settings, locked out, pro pedal, and open. Seems like a good xc machine for me.
hope I didn't get taken!