I've been continuing to experiment with options on this chassis. Thus far I've used the MRP Stage fork @ 150mm of travel and the Manitou Magnum Pro @ 120mm. Out back I've had 125, 110, and 100mm of travel courtesy of a RockShox Monarch RT3 w/Debonair. And I've ridden all of the above with Surly Dirt Wizards on both ends, Bontrager Chupacabras on both ends, as well as a DW up front and a Chupa out back.
The truth is that none of these configurations have been bad, or even average, but each has indeed had it's own personality, and has given lots of insight on where 29+ FS shines.
I'll ride it as pictured here, with a 120mm RS-1, for the next ~week, then I'll start over and run through each configuration again, comparing fresh post-ride thoughts with the notes that I took on the first go-round.
The point of the second round of testing is that spring is morphing to summer: Trails are either drying out or getting blown out, depending on elevation and exposure. Traction, soil moisture, and fitness are all evolving rapidly: Impressions from a month ago are likely to be different from today, and next week, and I don't want to make too many assumptions on a single sampling.
Going the extra mile, you might say. Somebody's gotta.