Well due to a glut of OT, and a few odd factors I appear to be on the verge of getting my new ride. Shocking I know.
Now the tough question. I have in my budget of general X enough to cover a Gary Fisher Paragon, from this year that is a pretty nice bike with damn good components (fox f29 rlc, x9 gear, elixir 5). I could easily move all this stuff over to a MCR later if I don't end up loving the thing. Excellent local support via The Bike Lane.
Or I found a good deal on an MCR on craigslist.
Fox Fork (info requested), tubeless on stans rims, hyrdos(i.r.) thompson stem/seatpost for a bit less $$ than the paragon.
CONS - Used, unknown source, cash deal (versus a it of CC to offset quick pocket hit), no idea who built it. Having that local support is nice for warranty/etc.
It's been on craigslist for a while so I might be able to levrage the price down a bit more. I think it's been up on there since late May.
Final CON on MCR - Root Beer might become the official color of Thursday Night at Wakefield.
Steel is Real.