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I'm curious what you tried for various suspension settings on the bike. You mentioned that the bike didn't feel very supple, and I'm not sure what you weigh, but it looks like you ended up running quite a bit of fork HSC and decently high pressure/tokens. The rear suspension setup looks a little more mid-range for the average weight male. What sag numbers did you end up running?
Also, I just had similar issues with XT brakes. The OEM pads made SO MUCH NOISE rattling around due to the large cooling fins. I thought it was a loose pivot bearing, or broken derailleur clutch, or just crazy chainslap. I grabbed some finless EBC red DH pads from my LBS to solve that issue, then upgraded to MTX red ceramic pads which transformed the brakes. Well worth the ~$60.
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