heavy - bigger guy +200pounds on a good day, pushing 215 right now.
hardtail - The surface is my only bike
primary XC with some AM/Enduro - Looking for a trail fork that can do nice mellow XC with typical island rooty
trails, to more 'enduro' style dh rides on the island, squamish and the lower mainland
Seriously - all the Pike 'must-have' is a bit overdone.
Unless you like to spend money. If it is a 29er and you want more adjustability, then try the new Fox Float 36. It has 6mm less axle-to-crown than the Pike.
Go get a used 140 Revelation. Plenty stiff. Quite plush. Easy to service.
No, it is not as stiff as a Pike or Float 36. But it serves lots of smiles and can be had for less than 1/3 the price of other options.
If you are going to be primary AM/Enduro, then I would say get something stiffer.
But for "Looking for a trail fork that can do nice mellow XC with typical island rooty
trails", I say a Revelation at 140 is more than enough. Even at 120 or 130 it will be a good match.
I'm going have to disagree with you on the Revelation. I had one on my Transition Transam 29er. Horrible Fork. As I stated in my previous post I'm a fat bastard. As soon as it got rock garden rough, it would over whelm the fork and it would just pack up. The axel drove me nuts as well. The only way I could keep the axel from backing out was to tighten the shit out of the little screw on the quick realease which would then deafeat the purpose of having a quick realease. I have none of these issues with either one of my Pike Forks. I would probably be just as happy with a Fox 36, but I haven't ridden one yet.