My first MTB was a gift from my then-wife after being stationed in Korea for a year. A Specialized Hardrock Pro. I love this bike. I still own it but it no longer prowls the singletrack but has been out-fitted with bags and is used as an in-town commuter.
I too, am returning back to this awesome ass hobby! lol. I’m building an older frame that I have had in my garage for 6 years or so. It’s been about 8 years since I’ve seriously taken a trail in anger. My frame is an older Scott FX-25 FS. I still own a Specialized Hard Rock Pro that I love but that has been more kitted out for in-town coffee runs. If I didn’t have it already, I’d go with a HT as well. Just more responsive and you can’t tell me it’s any less fun in the woods.