<sticks hand up>
I've been seriously impressed by the Trance X 29er 1. It's a long term tester so I'm reserving final judgement until I've gotten a lot more miles in but so far, so good.
It fair licks along at a rate of knots on your traditional XC style trails but has already served me well on my first few trips into the bigger hills which is what I wanted it for. At £2k, it's light, rips along in singletrack and comes with a dropper post. Like I said, I'm reserving judgement until it's seen many months of riding on a variety of trails but if it was my money and on the basis of how it has ridden so far, I'd definitely have it at or near the top of my list. To me it rides like an Anthem X 29er but has a bit of extra oomph in reserve for when you decide to go out for a play in the bigger stuff.
As for the shock, I wouldn't get hung up on it. It works - I run it in Descend mode all the time and it feels pretty much ideal for my purposes even on extended road sections. I would encourage you to take one out on a test ride as just reading specs never gives you a proper picture of how a bike will ride.
I would love to have gotten the Full XT equipped model but having ridden the 1 version, I have to say I wouldn't now pay the extra grand given how good the £2k model is. I expect it will be their top seller given the price and spec.
Hope this helps?