for the last 3 years, i've been doing a fair amount of singletrack riding on my converted SS giant rincon. my giant rincon was a cheap bike when i bought it in 1997, then it got worse when i let it sit outside, unloved for 3 years while in law school. anywho, i converted it to SS 3 years ago because it was cheaper than replacing all the rusted components. it's rough!
...so the point of my post is to ask which 29er you'd recommend for under $800ish and any worthwhile customizations to be done to your recommended bike? -- that's how much i imagine my wife will tolerate me spending without flipping out. i'll probably stay single-speed, so don't worry about recommending a geared 29er. i've ridden the kona unit, RL monocog, and the XXIX and have enjoyed them all. are any of those (or any other 29er) really good ones to consider? it's hard to get a shop to tell me about any bike they don't carry in stock, and i haven't read a really bad review of any 29er.
for background, i ride singletrack in austin, texas, am 6' tall and weigh 175ish. any help?
...oh, i also covet indy fabs and willits (but my $800 wouldn't get me close to even a frame).