My 853 dragon cracked twice now. I'm waiting on an email back from warranty since they already replaced it once.
I love the geometry, and if warranty falls through it being steel can be welded by Bob at the service station if need be.
Aluminum as I'm sure you know CAN be harsh and needs heat treating if warranty fails and u need to weld it, but like you said ur gonna ride em both.
Components ur on ur own, I have both sram and shimano and like both with positives and negatives on both sides.
Either way ur about to be sporting a new rig! Sweet!
"my cat's breath smells like catfood."