Im coming off of an old school Diamond back topanga (i think its a 96 maybe, its hunter green, there was also a black and purple one made). I beat the crap out of that bike. Ive had both dreailers and a shifter replaced on it. Very reliable bike though and no suspension. Cromolly frame.
I just got a 2006 Specialized HardRock Sport Disc. The bike has an agressive look seems to ride well. I do not like the shifters. Difficult to up shift from what I was used to with the old style Shimano shifting. Push for uphill and pull for downhills. The new shifter, which I hate, is push for both uphill and downhill, you cant do the old two finger shifting trick. This sucks for me. Ill have to get used to the new way. The shocks on it are also very splashy even in thiere tightest setting. I cant bottom them out (150lbs, 5'5") however they are noisey when i pull up off of jumps. I like to get a lot of air when moutnain biking and the springy shocks help me here. Bike seems okay right now, could end up being a problem with ergonomics later on if i cant get used to the shift.