Apparently rather than admit it was 'steep' it was 'because the way the market was going'.
you are the only one I have seen call it steep - and I have ridden an 09.
The only issue I saw was that is was too similar to the flux, especially when people put 120mm forks on the flux - so riders on the turner mtbr forum that had both bikes would use their flux most of the time.
Plus there was the delay with the DHR, so maybe they tried to make the 5 spot closer to that market, and less of an XC bike.
Some of the 09 fluxes also cracked - gregg told me it was mostly because people sat down in the rough stuff. He has offered to add the requisite gusset to my 09 for free, apart from shipping to the states.
I test rode an 09 5 spot back-to-back against a trance X and the difference was quite large in how well the suspension worked.