Great review and fair comments on Graham's part. As the PM in charge of this model I do feel the need to address a few comments that some readers have made.
Manufacturers don't skimp out on any part. It's a careful balance of quality of parts, aftermarket service, and pricing that determines the final spec. Using nicer, branded parts comes at a cost and different customers focus on different components as being vital to their own personal requirements. Sometimes the balancing of spec negatively affects the item that you place the most value on. Maxxis EXO+ vs DD tires are a good example of the endless debate on components.
Additionally there are many distribution models out there that add to the intricacies of the final price. Today's new Canyon Spectral is a good example of a value-packed bike, but that comes at a cost of lack of aftermarket support in some regions where the bike is sold. This is very much over-simplifying the situation but, in the end, the consumer can decide what they value most and buy accordingly. No hard feelings here.
If you're set on a Rocky Mountain Altitude and take objection at the spec on the Carbon 70 model due to a few items that you wish were better, you can always spend an extra $400 and spring for the Altitude Carbon 70 Coil. The upgrades over the standard Carbon 70 are Factory suspension F+R, Ice Tec rotors F+R, AND a 350 hub on the rear. Yes it still has AR rims but despite the fact that these are Race Face's lowest-tiered rim option, these are a much nicer rim than some of the options that exist in the reasonably weighted, 30mm wide category. Contrary to someone's comment below, the spokes and nipples are not junk; they are the very reliable DT Swiss Competition 2.0-1.8 butted spokes with loctited DT Swiss brass nipples. These are solid enough to be re-used / re-laced to a Race Face ARC HD rim once you dent the AR rim past it's useful life.