Sorry, missed your post. Just to elaborate on my statement that a 916 would makes things dull, well I was refering to less technical stuff. The bike steam rollers most trail obstacles and soaks up smaller jumps and drops in its stride. It's a very capable machine. Also, with 160mm of travel it insulates you from whats going on a lot of the time. Throw it into a bermed corner and you don't feel very much other than plush suspension at work.
I've ridden the carbon zestys too, to answer your question. For my money I'd rather have it than the spicy, whilst the spicy climbs really well, pedals really well, and as I've said, is a pretty good bike, I just think unless you live near something like several DH tracks and will regularly be pedalling up before shredding down, it'd be surplus to most requirements. Also, with wheels and especially tires capable of taking a serious dh hammering, the bike would be severely hampered for trail riding. So your into the faff of changing wheels and or tyres depending on what your doing.
With the zesty, it's climbs even better than the spicy, but doesn't flatter you or wrap you in cotton wool on the more technical stuff. It's still capable of rough stuff but is just a bit more involving. Also, I'd be more inclined not to mess around with wheels and tyres...just run higher pressures and finesse the bike on technical descents. Accepting it for what it is. I hope that makes sense.
Having said all that, I'm still not a massive fan of Lapierre.