All this talk of retro MTB made me think that I should post this up here. This has gotta be a future classic.
If you want to get into MTB without spending a fortune - wanting something for riding singletrack and some bikepacking - this would be a really good bike to look at. I have a Dragon and I dig it.
This one is from 2007 and I think that the frame design remained virtually unchanged until last year when they swapped 26" for 650b. If you can buy a bike with XT & XTR for $1000 I reckon you’re doing alright.