I have an opportunity to get a Santa Cruz Hightower C frame only from my local Santa Cruz Shop. Itís brand new never been built and came straight from SC. I can get it for $1000-1200 (no shock). It is a screaming deal for what would retail for maybe $2500 if they even offered it as a frame only. I could put every single component from my current Bike directly on the Hightower with the exception of the rear shock and adapting my rear hub to boost. Here is my dilemma:

My current bike is a Transition Smuggler. 150 front 115 rear. Horst link design. I am happy with it. It does what i need it to do. A little more rear suspension is something Iíve thought about and it would be nice but not necessary for my East TN and Western NC riding. A SC carbon frame would be awesome,and typically out of my budget for a new one. The geometry is very similar between the two bikes. Iíve always loved SC bikes but never owned one. Financially i can do this, but will the difference between frames and ride experience be worth the $1200+shock that Iíll have to spend? Is VPP that great? Is carbon a game changer (never ridden a carbon bike either)? Anyone with any thoughts please chime in here.

Thanks!