I am in training this week which means I get to wake up 3 hours later than normal, but I have to travel to Columbia, MD for Cisco training (ICND1). I went to the mall two days ago, but they didn't really have much going on there, so I went to Race Pace Bicycles yesterday. I got to test drive two bikes, a Felt Q520 and a Trek 4600D. They both were good bikes, the Trek the clear winner in lightness and structure, but with a pricde tag of 150% of the Felt, I think the Felt would be a clear winner. For a $400 bike, it had everything. Disc Brakes are key for real mountain biking. Because when you go through streams or get mud on your rims, the V-brakes don't really grip very well and if you get any small rocks or grit caught you end up rubbing your rims down.
I asked the wife about getting one and she simply said "I don't care... just get rid of your old one first." Sounds like a pretty solid answer. Considering the wet season here, a mountain bike might be a good commuter bike.
So I'm going to ask some coworkers what they think about it, but I might be purchasing one in the next week!
I present to you the hard tail Disc Break Felt Q520: