Thanks for all the good advice. It's appreciated. Point taken on the cheaper disc brakes vs. V-brakes.
Here's a little more info:
Rock Machine Surge 50 2007
* Frame 6061 Alloy
* ZOOM CH-386 Fork 60mm Travel
* Shimano Tourney / Altus
* Tektro Alloy V-Brakes
* Prowheel Cranks
* EASY TECH Alloy Rims - Cassette Rear
Malvern Star Rocktrail
· Light & Strong Alloy MTB
· RST 191 T7 Adjustable Suspension with 76mm Travel
· Shimano Ezifire Shifters 24 Speed
· Shimano Acera RD
· Shimano Acera Cassette
· Shimano TX-70 Crankset
· Tektro IO Disc Brakes
· ZAC19 Double Wall Black Alloy Rims
(Alternatively, we could drop back to the Malvern Star Hurricane, which has very similar equipment, but with V-brakes...probably $350 or so)
As I mentioned, if we find that we're riding quite a bit, we can upgrade a bit later. I just don't want to spend a bunch of money only to find we ride once every other weekend. Know what I mean? I expect we'll get into it and quite enjoy it, though.
Earl, Fountain Gate's not far, but the only thing I like about the shop here in Pakie is that they're close. We can walk/ride there, and they do maintenance, etc. Local vendor and all that. If we can, though, we'll check out the one in Narre.
It's like test-driving cars, though...I'm afraid to ride a really nice bike, cause it'll be harder to go back to our price range!
Any final thoughts before we "take the plunge"? Thanks again!