I had a 2012 and it was awesome, stock parts are great and I've tried swopping out to lighter wheels, tyres, better brakes, gears, no gears etc....
1. It's great as a stock bike. you might need to tweak the stem length, otherwise it's great. Handle bars, stem etc... are all really good and very light. Rear hub is great, gearing is great, cranks - yep, all awesome.
2. It's a superb single speed bike.
3. The top tube height (as on all kona 29ers) is high.
4. It's not great as a geared bike. Gets heavy fast and it's something you'll notice on roads and rolling hills. in the rough it's still great, but all in all if you want a single speed this is it. Otherwise get something lighter for gears and suspension.
It is what it is, and it is great as it is.