My old lady just got a Kona. It's a LT trail . Carbon Fiber,650b, 3.25 in tires, XT/SLX mix. $2700 on sale from Jensen. Her previous rig was a 2012 Santa Cruz Juliana, similar build, but more XC oriented... she's still getting used to the more laid back position, and the 1by Tranny... it's not as good of a climber as the Juliana, but she can charge on the descents.
Do it once and be good for a decade. Get a 29er mis fat with 150mm of travel. You wont regret it. I ride a Santa Cruz Tall Boy LTC. Its six years old. Has 130 mm of travel and it still kicking ass. Also have a 2018 carbon Bronson with 150 in a 27.5 and it gets no ride time from me.
It depends what you ride. I don't do lift accessed DH. I prefer techy XC with some nice climbs. (Don't forget, 1/2 the hills are down!). I ride a Devinci Django now. It is a 29'er with 130 mm up front and 120 mm of travel in the rear and it is awesome. I'd say the bike is more on the XC side compared to some other trail bikes and it climbs like a banshee (with DW Link suspension) but it is still super solid on the DH. (Not surprising since Devinci makes some high-end Enduro bikes). It is really a very balanced bike. My advice, whatever you do, go 29.
I've been riding my giant trance x 29er for 5 years now and love it, probably will look for a similar platform bike in the next year or so. Giant just reincarnated the Trance 29 for '19 after a few years of of 27.5 only
My buddy just got a sweet deal on a trek fuel ex8 29'er , i think they have some sales incentives going on now.