So I've narrowed it down to the GT Sensor 9r FS 2013.
There are 2 options available.
One is from performance bike and is the Sensor Comp which prices out around $1199.
The other is the Sensor Elite which prices out around $1440. Better shocks and slightly different/better(?) components on the elite.
I've done as much research on the varying components as possible. To me, the better buy seems to be the elite. The guy at performance told me that the brakes on the comp were better than the brakes on the elite (Shimano BR-m395 on the comp vs avid elixir 1's on the elite) but I don't know much about that. I have the shimano brakes on the HT and I think they stop pretty darn well.
I'm strongly considering selling the hardtail to put the cash towards the new bike. At a $240 price difference, is the elite the better purchase?