I am all Cross Country. Like you I am not into downhill at all. I have been riding 7 years and I currently have a 2010 Specialized Rockhopper SL Expert and next year business permitting and going to get a Santa Cruz Superlight R xc with the Float 120 Fork which the Santa Cruz webiste lists as $2573. I have never had a FS bike as I have been happy with hardtails but based on the reviews and the stiff rear shock and single pivot design I think I will be satisfied. It supposedly climbs very well which is my streanght as I am not a downhill rider by any streatch of the imagination. I have heard that the rear shock handles well on climbs yet also handles well over trail terrain so as long as you don’t expect it to absorb more than it is designed for. I am also into endurance riding and plan to do the 12 hours at Tsali 2012 with a friend of mine as a team. Take a look at this bike as it is everything I believe I need for my type of riding.