I've been into mountain biking for years now - getting my first real one about 14 years ago now. I've had some amazing rides, with amazing people, to amazing places. And I've had soem pretty amazing bikes too.
Since the Bauer (extreme system 2! - now Martha's) of the early 90s, I've upgraded bikes every 3 or 4 years - first building up a Marin Pine Mountain hardtail, then splurging on a very orange Kona King Kikapu, then deciding I wanted to race some more, so selling the Kikapu and going back to the Marin, then getting a full sus Marin Mt Vision, selling that last year as the pivots wore and the hardware became obsolete, to fund a Giant NRS1, and then supplementing that with a wonderfully basic Specialized Hardrock Singlespeed. I'll post photos some time soon, as it makes a nice history note.
The current NRS is a great bike - it's stupidly fast, as you'd expect from a short travel race bike. It goes up, down, jumps, lands, and is a really nice, good bike, that didn't cost a stupid amount. The singlespeed was a bit of an impulse to provide something I could throw into stair jumps, be fast on shuttle downhills, and generally piss about on. It's proven so much fun, and no doubt really good for the legs, that it's gettign all the ride time at the moment.
The master plan was always to have one really good versatile mtb, and one good road bike. That plan kind of goes out the window every other week, but I usually get back to it in the end, after a bit of indecisiveness, dreaming, and investigation. I'm thinging I might redo that though - and move into the Jono/Owen style 1x play bike, and 1x race bike.
So now I find a 4th bike in brogress, living in a corner of the lounge as I ship in parts from across town and around the world to piece it all together - a DMR steel hardtail. I'm quite excited about this bike. It was originally intended to fit between the Giant and the Specialized - offering simplicity, raceablility, and really good components, in order that I could sell the other two and not lose much in the way of functionality. But now I'm not sure I can sell the other 2.
It's looking increasingly likely that I'm going to end up with a garage full of bikes, each with a narrow function. Fun for the moment, and we do have a garage with some space left, but an expensive way to do things.
Maybe next year I'll sell them all and put together a single do everything bike - a cross between Marin 1, Marin 2, and Kona. Maybe...
This mass indecisiveness does provide a nice antidote to work though.