I'm actually talking about my Leader 510, built on the cheap with whatever I had lying around my garage. I've since sold my black Kinesis SS, and while posting and posting and posting this bike for sale, I said F* it - I'm going to the "dark side" and just ride the snot out of it. I tossed the gears and went SS via a chain tensioner for the vertical dropouts.
Going from my 29'er (with trail bike geometry) to this with smaller wheels and XC geometry makes riding the two very different. The 29'er manages to climb the rocks more efficiently, descend a bit faster and sop up the bumps a little better. The Leader 510 climbs the fire roads a bit better, turns on a dime, whips around easier, but is a much harsher ride. If the question is "Which one is better?" the answer would be "Yes..."
The frame is aluminum with a heavy steel front fork. Ideally, I would love to upgrade to something much lighter up front - but I don't think I'll be turning laps any faster.
A lot of people think I ride rigid bikes to be "hardcore", but that isn't the case at all. The true reason is because it is what feels most comfortable for me, my riding style, and where I ride. I'm also a cheap bastard who doesn't like fiddling around with a lot of bike technology. When I ride suspension bikes, I think I fiddle around with lock-outs, U-turn adjustments, etc. more than I actually ride.
Suspension is great, but unless I go with a very high end, expensive bike (like an Ibis), I don't feel it's worth going that route. For me, it's all or nothing. And because I have other financial priorities... I go with nothing - bare bones, grit your teeth and hang-on-for-dear-life bikes.
So, let's see how long the Leader sticks around. Maybe I will keep it until it dies, or maybe put it up on the chopping block in the future - but given that it's worth more to me than what I can sell it for (a few hundred bucks, maybe?), I probably will keep it. Upgrades in the next few weeks will be Avid disc brakes (on order) and blingy, metallic red brake housing.