Advice---upgrading fork and wheels on fuel ex 5
So I've had a hardtail since 1993 but didn't ride it very much. Just seemed to always choose the road bike instead for some reason. Then a few months ago I found a 2011 fuel ex 5 on Craigslist. Now it seems to be the bike I ride all the time. I'm really enjoying the dirt with the dual suspension bike. Anyway, the guy I bought it from had bought it new and then put xt cranks and derailleurs on it. At this point I have $1000 into the bike and I'm thinking it would be cool to get the weight down on it. So I'm thinking about dropping another $1000 on an air fork and better set of wheels. So then I'd have two grand into the bike. Practical or not? If you think It makes sense, what fork model would you recommend? Wheels set? (keeping in mind the 1000. figure)
Normally I think It makes more sense to just buy a better bike to begin with then to upgrade but in this case it might make sense since I think all the "fuel" frames are the same???
To shed a little more light on the whole picture, I'm in my mid 50's, kids are grown and out of the house, car is paid for, etc. so I'm not hurting for cash but I guess over the years I've gotten in the habit of hunting for the best bargains.
Anyway, my question has gotten kind of long-winded but I would appreciate advice on this subject.