If you are riding for fun what bike wins races in the hands of a professional rider has no bearing on what is going to be the most fun ride for a recreational rider. The most fun bike I own will never win any races on the Enduro circuit (26in 66deg HA Hardtail) but it is such a blast to ride. At the moment I ride it more than any of my other bikes.
If someone wins an XC race, a DH race or an Enduro race on a different bike that doesn't mean it's going to be fun for me to ride that bike. The pros can make anything work for one thing and in any sport the fastest most aggressive tool in the hands of the pros is not necessarily what is best for the masses.
On the 29er thing. I've done direct comparison on 26" Stumpjumper Evo and 29" Stumpjumper Evo. For me the 26" bike is hands down the more fun bike to ride (subjective I know). I didn't time any runs so it could well be that the 29" was faster, but the winning bike is the one that left me with a bigger smile at the bottom of the trail. A friend feels that 29ers are fun for him and that's his choice.
What I don't like is companies taking the decision out of my hands. It looks like many companies are not going to make 26" AM and Enduro bikes for 2014 and this is something that I find pretty bad. We the customer should be able to choose, not be told what we want.