I've been a fairly avid road cyclist for about 5 years now. I've got a Raleigh Sport (older model) and a nice Specialized Allez. They recently put in some nice single track trails very close to my house and I'm thinking about picking up a mountain bike to get into the sport. I've been looking at the Specialized Hardrock Disc SE 29 and the Trek Marlin 5. They're both in the $500 range (which is where my wife wants me to stay) and I'm hoping to pick up a close out model within the next few months. I'm not looking to invest like I have in my road stuff. My LBS that sponsors my road cycling club is a Specialized/Raleigh/Felt dealer, and there is a Trek Store nearby. The last mountain bike I owned probably came from Walmart about 15 years ago. Just looking for opinions and suggestions on a good starter bike. I'm not too familiar with components and stuff on mountain bikes.