Okay here it is in a nutshell. I'm upgrading from a Rockhopper HT to some kind of FS bike. I've ridden most of the trails in the Phoenix area and would say I'm an intermediate rider at best. I've demo'd a faster true XC bike with 100mm of travel (Specialized Epic) and will be getting on a Stumpjumper FSR with 130mm of travel soon. I like to climb and descend and curvy single track in between. I opt out of very technical terrain or pure DH balls to the walls. I like the HT but it's getting hard on my back/neck/pretty much every joint.

SOOO as I narrow this down I'm looking for input for whether people consider the standard mix of trails in the Maricopa County area as XC which would favor more of a faster/lighter/stiffer bike or more XC trail which presumably would be heavier but slacker and more travel? I know riding style factors into this and I would like a comfortable ride but dragging extra weight uphill isn't fun either.