Not gonna do the mail order thing. Will be supporting one of the excellent LBS we have here in Austin.
Saw a Cannondale Scalpel 3 29er w aluminum frame at one of the LBS for $2,500, marked down from $3,500. It's a 2013 closeout. Has SRAM X9 and a Lefty fork.
My use will be singletracking in a fairly extensive network of trails in Texas Hill Country near my house. Won't race or frankly go all that fast.
Other options? Last time I bought a mountain bike was 1993. Still have it.