Talking bikes on a bike forum is never off track. I have a personal answer to the rigid 29er SS, based on an inexpensive asian frame, built up with proper parts/wheels that cost me under $500. Granted, I had a great manufacturer hook-up on the hubset, shop employee discounts and a fair amount ofpatience to get the Shimano XT parallel push stoppers, but a sub-$1000 ripper is always nice to rock.
You had me at 29er & SS. Two things I love
I'll never part with my GF Rig and also my Haro Ally. My Ally gets 10x the miles of any other bike in the garage