I'm down to these two bikes. I really like the Vertex 70 http://www.bikes.com/bikes/2004/vertex/vertex_70.aspx and although it is a little more money it seems to also have better components. The Klein http://www.kleinbikes.com/us/mountai...e_v/index.html seems nice too and is a little cheaper (though the $$ isn't the main consideration here).

These high end hardtails are both (as far as I can tell) made in North America, are considered to be well made frames, and are from companies with long-standing reputations. Unfortunately my local bike shop only carries the Klein and I have to order the Rocky Mountain from a shop in NYC because Rocky's will only be sold to authorized dealers and there isn't one in my area. I would like to support my local shop, but....I really like the Rocky Mountain too.

Please offer any opinions on these two bikes as well as percieved loyalty to the bikes that your local bike shop sells. I appreciate any opinions.