I'll try to abbreviate. I was out of riding for 10 plus years. Last FS bike, GT LTS1. Loved it, even used to commute on it. Last HT was a GT Zaskar. LTS was down for what ever reason so I rode the HT Zaskar. Couldn't believe what I had been missing. Fast forward to 2009. Wanted to start riding again and thought full suspension was the best way to go. Did a little research and decided on Trek EX8. Unbelievable ride. Worked great going up, down, braking, not braking, awesome ride with no downside. Started noticing the "tall" ride and constant need (desire) to raise the seat. Being "old school" with roadie background I wanted my seat at the same level and not adjusting it for every situation. Disccussed with a riding buddy that I really miss a hardtail and he said he had one for sale. Bought it. 2010 Specialized carbon fiber, all XT. NIRVANA! I couldn't believe, once again, what I was missing. I was all ready to sell my Trek EX8 because I have arrived. The hard tail was 'The Shit'. Being caron fiber, I guess, the ride was the ride was much smoother than the Zaskar hardtail I remember, awesome. Decided that I should give the Trek one last try, before casting her aside, and quickly realized I was in love with 2 machines. They both have qualities I LOVE and both have qualities that I don't really like. There is no perfect bike. You need 2. The best analogy would be women. We love good girls, but we want dirty girls. You get to decide which is which.