KONA HONZO. I've been looking to buy a 29er AM HT that I can use for XC races but also not be a bore to ride outside of XC rides. The honzo is looking like the best deal. It's just under your price range and has a good build! My real AM ride is a 2011 specialized enduro but I've been gassing for some big hoops lately. My enduro is the best AM bike of all time in my opinion but I like to do a race every now and then and that's where the honzo comes in. I just can't conform to the fairy XC crowd so I need a bike that rips too. Ironically I've finished top 10 in alot of cat 1 races on my enduro against guys on XC bikes. My nickname is "jumpy" because I am literally the only person who races with flats.