Pros: I've owned this bike for about a month and a half and love it. This thing is a serious climber -- I never notice any bobbing thanks to the i-drive system, and aesthetically, it is a great looking bike. I have heard a few people complain about the weight, but I've never felt like it is slowing me down. I didn't want to drop $3-4k on a new bike, and I can't imagine finding a better value than this one.
Cons: The rear shock is pretty basic, Fox Vanilla Float (no rebound adjustment)
Recommendation: This was my first full-suspension, and I think it is a steal for anywhere close to a grand. I paid a bit more for it a couple months ago, but I've seen it lately for $1100 -- well worth the money.
Pros: I've had this bike for 3 years now, with lots of mountain trail riding here in Flagstaff, AZ and haven't had any problems with it at all. Never had the dog bone part break or the Fox float suck down. I think both of these problems "reserverockhopper" had may be due to not having enough air in the shock. I bought a pump for mine as soon as I bought the bike as the pressure was much too low for me (I weigh 225 lbs). I can't think of anything about this bike that I don't like.
Cons: Nothing. I even like the blue color of my 2006 model.
Recommendation: I found this bike for $850 online for the XL frame (I'm 6'3") and would recommend it to anyone looking for a great full suspension bike at a value price.
Pros: Climbs great for an all mountain bike. Sturdy and durable, can handle abuse. Lots of travel but does not feel squishy. Great price point. More bike for your money.
Cons: Small thin dog bone that is part of the idrive system breaks often. Inexspensive part, but need to make sure you always have a back up with you. I've had 4 break. Weight, 33 lbs. Fox Float has had to go back to Fox twice due to suck down. Water bottle cage in bad spot under down tube which makes it hard to reach and gets covered with dirt.
Recommendation: I now have over 2000 miles on my GT. I've replaced my cassette and chain and that is it. I can out climb my riding companions who have much more expensive and lighter Gary Fisher Deluxe bikes. I can also beat them on the downhills because the GT all mountain geometry is more aggressive. Durable tank of a bike that flows smooth as silk.
I'm a much better rider and riding much more now than when I first bought it based on price but I don't think I'll ever need or want to upgrade to a more expensive bike.