So it's time for me to upgrade from my Hard Rock which is at lest 10 yrs old an showing its age. I want a good, mid-level hardtail (26") for under $1000. My LBS carries Trek/Fisher, but to me the specs on the Wahoo aren't great and the 4500 seems overpriced, although I would get 2 yrs free service. Another shop a couple miles away has Cannondale and Specialized, and some Giant. A 3rd shop not far has Jamis.

I think I have narrowed it down to buying either the Jamis Durango 2 ($875 or the 2010 online for $679), or the Ibex Alpine 550 ($679 plus shipping). Biggest diff is the Sram x5 on the Ibex vs Deore stuff on Jamis, plus different fork (RST Omega TnL on Jamis vs Dart 3 on Ibex), and brakes (BB7 on Ibex, hydraulics on Jamis). I am not really a mechanical guy, by the way. I also brielfy considered the Dawes Haymaker 1500 on bikesdirect.

Any thoughts for an obssessive-compulsive?